Files

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the Zionist project of creating a “New Jew” (or “New Hebrew”) from the perspective of three of the founding fathers of Israeli historiography, all associated with the so-called “Jerusalem School” of Jewish historiography: Yitzhak Baer (1888-1980), the historian of the Jewish Middle Ages, who late in life turned to the study of Second Commonwealth Judaism; Gershom Scholem (1897-1982), the founder of the academic study of Jewish mysticism; and Yehezkel Kaufmann (1889-1963), historian-sociologist, and one of the foremost biblical scholars of the twentieth century. My purpose is not only to explore how these individuals related to the idea of creating a new Jewish identity, but also – and primarily – to assess how they participated in the process, and how their historical writings contributed to the new identity formation. As such, this is also a study of the relationship between historiography and political ideas, as well as a broader reflection on the nature of historiography and its place in political life. In the Introduction, I provide the historical background to the emergence of the idea of the “New Jew”, the history of the Jerusalem School, a review of current literature, and an overview of the aims and methods of this study. I then turn to the three protagonists of this study, Baer, Scholem, and Kaufmann, in individualized chapters. In my concluding remarks, I reflect on the enduring legacy of this first-generation of Jerusalem scholars, and suggest some ways by which their writings could continue to be relevant in the fields of history and political thought.

Details

Actions

Preview

Downloads Statistics

from
to
Download Full History