Studies of the Simon Dubnow Institute

Volume 11

Moderne Gnosis und Zionismus

Kulturkrise, Lebensphilosophie und nationaljüdisches Denken

Translated from Hebrew by Dafna Mach

Studies of the Dubnow Institute, Moderne Gnosis und Zionismus, 2010

Modern Gnosis and Zionism reveals the compound connection between Life Philosophy (Lebensphilosophie) – a post-Nietzschean common approach that proliferated in the German culture of the turn of the nineteenth century – and Zionist thought.

Volume 11 of the Schriftenreihe, by Yotam Hotam, is a translation from Hebrew and deals with the nexus in intellectual and cultural history between Zionist thought and the current of Lebensphilosophie in the German-speaking countries around 1900, examining the interconnections between them. In the context of intellectual history, Zionist thought was shaped by Lebensphilosophie, an outlook which was predominant in the thinking of many intellectuals from the turn of the century down into the 1920s. Zionism and Lebensphilosophie were interconnected not only because both provided answers to the generally perceived cultural crisis of the day. Another shared attribute was that numerous writings of Lebensphilosophie saw themselves as a form of modern gnosis. Examining writings by the philosopher Ludwig Klages (1872–1956) and the Jewish thinker Theodor Lessing (1872–1933) and Jakob Klatzkin (1882–1948), the author places Zionism in its broader philosophical and intellectual-historical context, investigating traces of Lebensphilosophie in its conceptions.

277 pp. with 3 illustrations

Hardcover with dust jacket

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010

ISBN: 978-3-525-36989-0
Price: 50,00 € (D)


Julia Brauch, in: H-Soz-Kult, 23 April 2012.

Stefan Vogt, in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 59 (2011), no. 4, 365.