Martin Buber's Influence on Hammarskjold
the late Edward R. Murrow — did
UN executive-diplomat had coin
.RA Currespond.nt in the UN
bined so thoroughly the active life Pia:nrnarikjold spell out his credo
cCopyricht. 1961. J711, LAC-)
of the outside world with the con- a very significant documentation
Sorkeday. a full study will be ternplati -.e life of the spiritual man of his personal. spiritual back-
written shot- mg that Dag Ham-
Henry P. Van Deusen, former ground. However. that happened
marskjold. the late secretary-gen- president of Union Theological long before he had learned of
eral of the United Nations. and Seminary. in New York. came to Buber and the Jewish philosopher'- ,
Martin Buber.- the great Jewish write this book, - Dag Harnmarsk- work — hence Dr. Van Dusen'-
philo,opher. had walked separately jold: The Statesman and His Faith' reliance on that statement and the
but simultaneously the same path (Harper Row). after digging near-miss regarding Buber's in
toward understanding of religious deeply into Hammarskjold's life fluence on Hammarskjold.
Toward the end of his life. Ham-
in the course of re:iewing the UN
We lave now a new work point. chief's posthumously - published marskjold wrote (in "Markings '.• a
in to that understanding. Unfor- dairy. "Markings." Fascinated by personal paean to God. a pra:iirl- f
tinately. in tr.:- Buber is only that diain.. which showed a facet hymn. which not only extolled the
.afterthoi.:ht. literally an ap- of Hammarskjold's life. his inner divine but also the related. with
pended nr.ite " The hook, for the life, previously unknown to. even absolute directness. to the teaching
first time. examine- Dag Harnmar- unguessed by, the world. the theo- of Buber. "Give us. - he intoned.
,Irns deep spiritual qualities. logian went one step further. He "a pure heart that we may see
qJaiities through which the man correlated the entries in "Mark- Thee. a humble heart that we ma,
to the world chiefly as the ings" with Dag liammarskjold•s en- hear Thee. a heart of love' that we
tire life. private as well as public. may serve Thee, a heart of faith
He came near to concluding that that we may live Thee." And he
Ha:rtri Passover to
Hammarskjold's life had been in- concluded this prayer with:
Onr Relatives and Friends
fluenced by three factors — "his
Whom I do not know
parental inheritance. the thought
But Whose I am.
of Albert Schweitzer. the medieval
Who I do not comprehend
mystics " In passing he noted also
But Who has dedicated me
that Hammarskjold had come
Wholesale Floor Covering
To my fate.
"close to Spinoza. - But. evidently
because he had not discovered the
This entry was made in his
availability of Hammarskjold-Buber "Markings" under the date of July
correspondence until his book was 19. 1961 — just two months before
almost ready for publication. Dr. . Hammarskjold's tragic death while
Van Dusen made up for his over- • on a peace mission to darkest Af-
Best Wisi.es for a
sight with that appended "note." rica. Two days before writing that
subtitled "Dag Hammarskjold and entry, we learn now through Dr.
Martin Huber." It remains. there- Van Dusen. Hammarskjold had
fore. for other hands — perhaps , written a very warm letter to
for Dr. Van Dusen himself in a Buber. stating that " the last few
subsequent work — to carry that daysI have been reading some
studies of yours which I had not
• • •
How did Hammarskjold and
It was clear. from what followed
Buber — the first a scion of one in the next week. that the studies
A Happy Passover
of Europe's oldest aristocracies — to which he referred included
manage to fuse into one single Buber's monumental "I and Thou"
channel of spiritual thought? The — and that Hammarskjold's refer-
answer is really quite simple. Both ence to himself and to "Thou" used
Specializing in Hair Tinting
came to their common cause that term for the divinity in the
through a combination of what has Buberian sense. On Hammarskjold's
862-2337 — 862-2338
been called the "via activa" with last day at UN headquarters.
the 'lvia contemplativa."
prior to his departure for Africa
Both were doers as well as — and martyrdom — he wrote to
again, informing the man in
thinkers. Both were immersed in
HOLIDAY GOOD CHEER
the histories of their respective Jerusalem that he had embarked
peoples. Both drew upon their re- definitely on a translation into
spective national and family tra- Swedish of Buber's "I and Thou."
ditions for the enrichment of their
Dr. Van Dusen adds a piquant
inner lives. Where Hammarskjold
note. It turns out that, while
3 3 Vernier Rood
Grosse Pointe Shore:
Hanunarskjold had already pro-
father. Buber learned his from
posed to the Swedish Academy
deep involvement in the Zionist
(of which he was a member) that
movement. Just as Hammarskjold
a Nobel Prize for literature be
learned theology and ethics from
given to Buber, he had some
his brother. so Buber learned of
doubts on that score and sug-
Happy Passover to Our
.Judaic studies. first from liis grand-
gested. alternatively, that the
Friends and Patrons
father. later through his own re-
Nobel award to Buber be given
searches into Hasidism.
— instead — as a Peace Prize.
There was only this difference:
Within a week after posting his
Huber wrote of his inner life. de-
last letter to Buber, Hammar-
voting his literary output to an ex-
skjold met his death — leaving
position of Hasidism and to his
behind 12 pages of his start of
development in the field of re-
his Swedish translation of "I and
ligious existentialism. Pfammar-
skjold, on the other hand, kept his
Because of the Hammarskjold-
own spiritual involvements largely Buber "note" in the Van Dusen
to himself. rarely revealing hitt in- book — appearing even after the
ner thoughts except. privately, to formal epilogue — this work is of
some of his very closest intimates. greatest interest to all who are in-
Flowers — Gifts
Even to the latter, he had given terested in Buber's vast influence
no hint of what would be revealed on the world at large. But. that is-
in "Markings." Only once in his sue aside. the Van Dusen book is
public career — in a radio state- a scholarly treatise that puts Ham-
ment for a program conducted by marskjold's spiritual lif and i
p e an is
combination with the earthly "prac-
tical" into sharp focus, worth the
attention of any scholar, not only
theological but lay.
Dr. Van Dusen's contribution to
Harnmarskjoldiana — a line of
1 study increasing yearly, and well
i worth the efforts of both authors
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