Buber on False Prophets and Nationalism

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Warren Zeev Harvey


Martin Buber’s essay “False Prophets” (1940) was written in Hebrew in Jerusalem two years after he fled Nazi Germany and assumed a professorship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The essay offers a political analysis of the dramatic confrontation between the prophets Jeremiah and Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). It speaks about the dangers of nationalism in Jeremiah’s biblical Jerusalem and in Buber’s own modern Jerusalem, eight years before the proclamation of the State of Israel. Who is the real lover of the homeland, Buber asks, the patriot who cares not about human beings, or the concerned individual who is willing to compromise in order to avoid destruction and save lives? When does nationalism become malignant? What is the difference between a true prophet and a false one?

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How to Cite
Harvey, W. (2019). Buber on False Prophets and Nationalism. Journal of World Philosophies, 4(2), 1-7. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/jwp/article/view/3111
Author Biography

Warren Zeev Harvey

Warren Zeev Harvey is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has taught since 1977. He studied philosophy at Columbia University (PhD, 1973). He is the author of many studies on medieval and modern Jewish philosophy, including Physics and Metaphysics in Hasdai Crescas (1998). He is an EMET Prize laureate in the humanities (2009).