Get to know Dr. Michael Fishbane


What is one text that has recently inspired you?
As I am editing the volume on Martin Buber’s writing’s on Judaism and philosophy for the new German edition of the Collected Works, I have recently reread his great corpus, and was again powerfully impressed by the lectures he gave at the Frankfurt Lehrhaus called ‘Religion as Presence’ — a harbinger of ‘I and Thou’ but with its own powerful concerns about ‘presence’, the ‘meaning of religion’ and ‘revelation’.

Who do you consider your spiritual/intellectual mentor?
Martin Buber, for the focus on living dialogically with a clear sense of moral and spiritual priorities; also for the challenges and methods concerning reading religious texts; and Chaim Nachman Bialik, for the remarkable capacity to renew and reuse classical Hebrew to express contemporary personal issues — especially spiritual and natural experiences.

What is a question you are currently grappling with?
As I am now engaged in a new book of theology, the key question right now is how to write a theology in older age with the proper spiritual integrity and choice of topics — and how to do this in a way that is personal but not idiosyncratic.

Fishbane