New Article: Biale, Gershom Scholem on Nihilism and Anarchism

Biale, David. “Gershom Scholem on Nihilism and Anarchism.” Rethinking History 19.1 (2015): 61-71.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642529.2014.913937

 

Abstract

Gershom Scholem, the pioneering historian of Jewish mysticism, was fascinated throughout his career by the mystical sources of nihilism in the Jewish tradition, sources which ultimately produced the antinomian Sabbatian movement of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But in his own political philosophy, he eschewed nihilism for a more moderate religious anarchism, identifying the right-wing Revisionists with the Sabbatians. The relationship between Scholem’s history of the Kabbalah, his anarchistic religious philosophy and his political activism can be traced in his published writings as well as his letters and other private writings.