Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

reliance on the " wholly other " God; but it is the
meeting with the eternal Thou Who is both the Other
and the Present One. If we stress God's distance from
men by asserting His Otherness alone, and do not
realise at the same time the truth of His Presence in the
relation of the Thou to the 7, we are bound in the end
to reduce the idea of Transcendence itself to a sub-
human situation, and to take refuge in a paradox,
which is not the ultimate paradox, of the impassa-
bility of the gulf between God and men.
Buber's assertion of the present moment as the real
time for faith distinguishes it from the Moment oi
Eberhard Grisebach, with whose book Gegenwart, eint
Kritische Ethik (1928), I and Thou has sometimes beea
compared. For though Grisebach has undoubted!^
found Buber's distinctive terminology highly significant
for his own inquiry, we do not find in him Buber's pre-
suppositions of the given" Thou—" the a priori oi
relation, the inborn Thou"—and the eternal Thou
which not only gives, guarantees, the human Thou to
us, but also directly addresses us. Buber's time L
" filled time ", his moment a religious moment, and his
thought is rooted in the concrete situation of religious
This sketch of the manifold influence of Buber's
thought may be concluded with a reference to the work
of Dr. Friedrich Gogarten. In his Ich Glaube an den
dreieinigen Gott (I bdieve in the Triune God) he attempts
an investigation of the relation of faith to history.
The controlling affirmation of his thesis is the reality
of our consciousness of other selves : history for him is
constituted where two persons meet. Applying this