OverTheWall-JKearnsThe present painting, Over The Wall (1969) by James J. Kearns, might suggest Ronald Gregor Smith’s view of humanist Martin Buber: “Buber’s wisdom may be described as the power to step over artificial boundaries for the sake of true humanity.”

Buber’s biographer Aubrey Hodes would second that notion: “And the truest symbol of the twentieth century is the border, the barbed wire fence of the heart. Buber will remain one of those rare men who both recognized it and showed us the way to bridge it.”

For Martin Buber bridging the wall came from “faithful humanism,” which meant that faith and humanity no longer appear as separate spheres. “They permeate one another and join forces, so that we can truly say, ‘Our faith is based on humanity, our humanity is based on our faith.'” Aubrey Hodes, Martin Buber: An Intimate Portrait (Viking, 1971)

The fulfillment of Martin Buber’s notion comes with our participation in the redemption wrought by the Son of Man—joined with the Father in the Spirit.

“Love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12