Speaker: Amir Engel (Hebrew University)
The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk on 'Between Historiography and Literature: "Gershom Sholem's Intellectual Biography". In this talk Emir addressed the "Gershom Scholem enigma" and described the path he took in his book Gershom Scholem: an Intellectual Biography in order to unravel some of its most intriguing aspects- between his historiography of the Kabbalah and the stories that he told about his life known simply as “from Berlin to Jerusalem.” The famous Kabbalah scholar, Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) occupies a central role in our intellectual imagination. He was “the creator of an academic discipline,” according to Martin Buber and is discussed by historians, literary scholars, and philosophers. Yet despite his charismatic personality and the many books and articles he wrote, there is something about him that remains mysterious and somewhat enigmatic. Who was Gershom Scholem and what is it that he contributed, most decisively to our understanding of culture, history, and politics?