BETWEEN THE RATIONAL AND THE MYSTICAL
SOME WORKS OF LAZAR GULKOWITSCH
University of Tartu
The article gives a brief
introduction to the life of the outstanding scholar Lazar Gulkowitsch who in
the 1920s studied in Königsberg
and Leipzig and made his scholarly career in the 1930s in Leipzig and Tartu.
One of the main topics in the works of Gulkowitsch,
starting already with his doctoral thesis was dealing with
between the rational and the mystical in culture, especially in the
Jewish thought. He has managed to deal with the rational elements and nature of
manifestations of Jewish religion like Kabbalism, Hasidism or Zaddikism. He was
convinced that it lies in the nature of religion to define the indefinable,
to try to explain the irrational and to meet the limits of the rational. While
the great systems of Jewish thought are handled as religious, i.e. manifestations
of the mystical, Gulkowitsch tries to show their rational character. These
teachings try to
build a logical system of doctrines, but they are aware of their limits, too.
The background of his ideas can be explained by the crucial influence of his
studies in Königsberg and Leipzig.
Lazar Gulkowitsch, Jewish
Studies, University of Tartu,
Hasidism, religion, Judaism, rationalism, mystical