Through a lifetime of passionate scholarship, Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) uncovered the “domains of tradition hidden under the debris of centuries” and made the history of Jewish mysticism and messianism comprehensible and relevant to current Jewish thought.
In this paperback edition of his definitive book on Scholem’s work, David Biale has shortened and rearranged his study for the benefit of the general reader and the student. A new introduction and new passages in the main text highlight the pluralistic character of Jewish theology as seen by Scholem, the place of the Kabbalah in debates over Zionism versus assimilation, and the interpretation of Kafka as a Jewish writer.
[An] important and original book…the first attempt to confront Scholem’s stature as a contemporary theologian…erudite and admirably written.
An excellent and deeply interesting study… Biale’s intelligent and helpful book displays Scholem not as a dry-as-dust scholar, but as a thinker and even a poet whose vision of Judaism contains a split or ‘abyss’ that is only precariously healed.
In this brilliant and insightful study of the man, his life and works, his contributions to the understanding of Judaism in this age of secularism and nationalism, of religion caught short of spiritual components, David Biale has illuminated some of the essential issues for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers.
- 1981, Winner of the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities
- 216 pages
- 6 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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