On the Reanimation of Tradition

In Confucius — The Secular as Sacred Herbet Fingarette paints Confucious, Jesus and Gautama Buddha as men who have “genuinely and profoudly and self-consciously reanimated their traditions” and there is a hint, for me, of Martin Buber in the affirmation

Shared tradition brings men together and enables them to be men. Every abandonment of tradition is a separating of men. Every authentic reanimation of tradition is a reuniting of men.

This seems almost tautological after the sentence the precedes it:

Only as we grow up genuinely shaped, through and through, by traditional ways can we be human; only as we reanimate this tradition where new circumstances render it otiose can we preserve integrity and direction in our life.

Given a tradition of reanimation, I might be tempted by this only path of being human. Being a social and political creature, yes. Being human: tradition is an insufficient ground. Not a wonder that the prose moves from consideration of being human to the union of men. There is something incommunicable in being human. Still we strive, we the wordsmiths, to make it known and sharable.

And so for day 171