Between Historiography and Literature: "Gershom Scholem's Intellectual Biography" with Amir Engel

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 5:00pm

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? In this talk I will address the "Gershom Scholem enigma" and describe the path I took in my 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.”

Amir Engel teaches at the German department at the Hebrew University. He studied philosophy, literature and culture-studies at the Hebrew University and completed his PhD. at the German Studies department at Stanford University. He also taught and conducted research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. His current project is a historical analysis of the term "Jewish mysticism" and a project on the Postwar European Culture, titled "After the Shock: The uniqueness of the Immediate Postwar". 

Location: Building 260, room 252

Co-sponsored with German Studies at Stanford University