Gershom Scholem & the Study of Mysticism

The academic study of Jewish mysticism was established by a single, ground-breaking scholar.

Print this page Print this page

The success of Scholem's project--almost single-handedly reviving interest in mysticism as a subject for study--reclaimed an important part of the Jewish religious heritage. In a 1972 essay on Kabbalah for the Encyclopedia Judaica, Scholem observed that the academic study of Jewish mysticism was still in its comparative infancy.

In the nearly 30 years since, it has emerged as a formidable branch of Judaic studies and produced some of the most significant works in Jewish historiography of the second half of the 20th century, and it may be truly said that the scholars who have done this work are the sons and daughters of Scholem.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

George Robinson

George Robinson, author of Essential Judaism, is the recipient of a Simon Rockower Award for excellence in Jewish journalism from the American Jewish Press Association. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, Jewish Week, and The Detroit Jewish News.