On the significance of theocracy (direct rule of God) in the thought of Martin Buber : the kingship of God and utopian social thought as seen in Buber's interpretation of the book of judges (<Feature> The philosophy of Martin Buber and his biblical hermeneutics: between Germanness and Jewishness)



After the Exodus, Yahweh and the Israelites entered into the Sinai Covenant, which established their relationship as that between the `God who guides' and the `people who follow'. Based on this direct relationship between God and the people, a loose federation of tribal communities was built as a system of sovereignty during the period of Judges, in which charismatic rule was exercised by human leaders who were delegated limited power by God from time to time. The direct rule of God means, in substance, rule by human leaders who were given limited power by God. This is an important point that characterizes the period of Judges that precedes the period of the Kingdom. What Buber sought for his contemporary society is an economic system that can provide an organic linkage among different kinds of vocations and that can strike the right balance between production and consumption. In other words, it is a federate society with less top-down control and more voluntary interactions among village communities and guild society. Buber, who embraced the idea of utopian social justice, aspired for such a society and worked for its realization. Definitely, this view of Buber stems from his understanding of theocracy as depicted in the Hebrew Bible.


  • Journal of the interdisciplinary study of monotheistic religions : JISMOR

    Journal of the interdisciplinary study of monotheistic religions : JISMOR 6, 37-52, 2010



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