Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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Gershom G. Scholem
Gershom Scholem (December 5, 1897 – February 21, 1982), also known as Gerhard Scholem, was a Jewish philosopher and historian raised in Germany. He is widely regarded as the modern founder of the scholarly study of Kabbalah, becoming the first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Scholem is best known for his collection of lectures, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941) and for his biography Sabbatai Zevi: The Mystical Messiah (1973). His collected speeches and essays, published as On Kabbalah and its Symbolism (1965), helped to spread knowledge of Jewish mysticism among non-Jews.

He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1958 and was elected president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1968.


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This article discusses the issue of revelation, as well as the concept of creating or developing tradition within the historical and religious context of Judaism. On the subject of tradition Scholem argues that “tradition asserts itself ever more emphatically as a new religious value and as a category of religious thinking. It becomes the medium through which creative forces express themselves.” He further addresses this issue by discussing the development and use of the Oral Torah and the Written Torah, and how they relate to the process of creating tradition and then examining it. Scholem also draws from numerous historical and textual sources that support his argument.
Tradition and Commentary as Religious Categories in JudaismScholem, Gershom G. Vol. 3, No. 3. ( Summer, 1969) Judaism
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