Gershom Scholem

The Man and His Work

Edited by Paul Mendes-Flohr

Subjects: Judaica
Series: SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
Paperback : 9780791421260, 127 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421253, 127 pages, July 1994

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Table of contents

Abbreviations of works by Gershom Scholem

Introductory Essay: The Spiritual Quest of the Philologist
Paul Mendes-Flohr

Gershom Scholem and Judaic Studies
Ephraim E. Urbach

Gershom Scholem's Contribution to the Study of the Zohar
Isaiah Tishby

Gershom Scholem on Pantheism in the Kabbala
J. Ben-Shlomo

Gershom Scholem and Jewish Messianism
Joseph Dan

Gershom Scholem's Interpretation of Hasidism as an Expression of His Idealism
Rivka Schatz

Gershom Scholem's Conception of Jewish Nationalism
Nathan Rotenstreich

Gershom Scholem as Bibliophile
Malachi Beit-Arie


In the early part of the twentieth century, Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) founded the academic discipline of the study of Jewish Mysticism. In so doing, he not only broke new scholarly ground; but he also revolutionized the field of Judaic Studies as a whole and left an indelible mark on the study of religion.

This book presents essays by several of Israel's eminent scholars, reflecting on Scholem's impact on the academic and Jewish worlds, and his life as a scholar, a Jewish thinker, and an activist. The editor has provided an intellectual and spiritual biography of Scholem, which complements the papers by Ephraim Urbach, Joseph Ben-Shlomo, Isaiah Tishby, Rivka Schatz, Malachi Beit-Arié, Nathan Rotenstreich, and Joseph Dan. Together, they highlight the enduring signficance of Scholem's work, which has remained the touchstone for all further scholarship on Jewish Mysticism and Kabbala. This volume thus sets the context for the current debate conducted by a new generation of scholars, who have introduced fresh ideas, new methodologies—and radical critique of the man they still revere as their master.

Paul Mendes-Flohr is Professor of Jewish Thought and Intellectual History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the co-editor of The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy and has written and edited numerous books, among them Divided Passions: Jewish Intellectuals and the Experience of Modernity and (with Jehuda Reinharz) The Jew in the Modern World. He has recently completed a volume entitled A Land of Two Rivers: The German-Jewish Vision of New Babylon. He is currently Acting Director of The Franz Rosenzweig Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History at The Hebrew University. He has served as a guest professor at universities in the United States and in Germany.