By Martina Urban
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Additional resources for Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik
Religious commentary, as Griffiths notes, follows in each religion tradition-specific criteria. Judaism as a tradition of commentary and interpretation is grounded in the quest to understand the word of God as transmitted in the sacred text of the written Torah. ”28 Revelation constitutes both the ontological and epistemological authority to which commentary is beholden. What was self-evident for traditional Jews underwent a radical reassessment in the post-Enlightenment period. In the light of new axiological orientations primed by universal values, modern Jews redefined the meaning of tradition and its metaphysical presuppositions.
Ramler’s Lieder der Deutschen: Eine repräsentative Anthologie (1766) was an early example of the new cultural and national self-understanding. With the rise of Romanticism in the nineteenth century, the genre was used to document the importance of folk wisdom, often only preserved in oral traditions, as a source nurturing a people’s collective identity. 37 This was the overarching concern of the Grimm brothers in their various collections of German folktales, of Herder in his anthology of the German folk song, and of Elias Lönnrot in his rendition of the Finnish epic.
By making retelling and not literal or faithful translation the mode of representation, Buber sanctions moderate decontextualization as a blending of the Hasidic texts with terms that evoke connotations and associations of a different cultural context and semantic field. Hence, retelling is a form of synchronic transmission. Moreover, synchronic transmission is character ized by memory which, especially when transmitted orally, necessarily in volves alteration. In Buber’s hermeneutical circle, retelling entails re-experiencing, both for the teller of the tales and his audience.
Aesthetics of Renewal: Martin Buber's Early Representation of Hasidism as Kulturkritik by Martina Urban