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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides concluding remarks on the concepts discussed in this book. The book shows how Etty-Hillesum's spiritual search had its beginning in her life of dialogue with God and man, through her empathy for and her engagement with You, the Other, in her life. Hillesum drew life from the divine presence which she sensed in her dialogues and symbolized in her diaries and letters. Hillesum evolved into a person who was concerned with the problems of the inner life, with the call of the spirit, and she was endowed with great compassion and understanding for other people. The three main thinkers in this study, Buber, Levinas and Bonhoeffer, and also the authors that Hillesum herself was reading, have asked questions concerning the meaning of man's existence. Hillesum's writings reveal the unusual spiritual experiences of a Jewish woman who felt apparently no contradiction between the Bible, literature, philosophy and daily events like darning her stockings.

Keywords: Bible; Bonhoeffer; Buber; Etty Hillesum; Jewish woman; Levinas; western philosophy



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