|Jan. 28, 2004||
Press Contact: Josh Schonwald|
Kabbalah, Poetry and Imagination: Conference on the poetry and scholarship of Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem revealed the Kabbalah to the 20th century with brilliant success. But in his private poetry, he questioned and reflected on his scholarship and his quest for God. This poetry has now been collected for the first time, and to celebrate its appearance the University of Chicago will host a unique set of performances and reflections on Feb. 1-2.
Before Scholem began his studies, many considered Jewish mysticism to be nothing more than an obscure superstition. In his major works, Scholem illuminated Kabbalah from its origins, showing that it emerged as an intellectually complex and spiritually creative response to the mystery, or even the absence, of God. One of the pioneers of scholarship in Israel, Scholem put Judaism and mysticism on the academic map worldwide.
Last year, his poetry was collected for the first time and published as The Fullness of Time (information at www.ibiseditions.com), and next week Paul Mendes-Flohr, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought in the Divinity School and the Committee on Jewish Studies, will convene a conference to reflect on its significance. He described the poetry: “The poems were written for private occasions, mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, and deal with the events and issues of Scholem's life: Zionism, Jewish destiny, mysticism, the epistemology of language and above all, his friendship with Walter Benjamin. The lectures, the music and the poems themselves will illuminate these themes.”
The Poetic Imagination and Mysticism: The Poetry and Scholarship of Gershom Scholem
Sunday, Feb. 1
Monday, Feb. 2
5801 South Ellis Avenue - Room 200
Chicago, Illinois 60637-1473
Fax: (773) 702-8324