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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Few fields, if any, in the study of Judaism have been dominated by one man as Gershom Scholem has dominated mysticism. For present purposes the most important item in Scholem's massive oeuvre is his Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. This article is divided into two parts. First, following broadly Major Trends, it surveys briefly the detailed phases in the history of Jewish mysticism, noting specific areas where Scholem's views have been supplemented, corrected, or contested. Second, it considers overarching questions regarding the tradition as a whole — the limits and the nature of Jewish mysticism, methodology, and mysticism's place in Judaism — which Scholem's work provokes, in order to assess the extent to which Scholem's paradigm still holds, and to get some idea of where the subject may be going.

Keywords: Judaism, Jewish mysticism, Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

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