The Religious Genius in Rabbi Kook's Thought: National "Saint"?

The Religious Genius in Rabbi Kook's Thought: National "Saint"?

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Dov Schwartz
Translated by Edward Levin

Series: Reference Library of Jewish Intellectual History
ISBN: 9781618114051 (hardcover) / 9781618114112 (paper)
Pages: 228 pp.
Publication Date: September 2014

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The postmodernist experience is associated with a strong interest in the concepts of saints and religious genius. In this volume, Dov Schwartz considers the questions related to these ideas through his close analysis of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook. This figure is revered by Zionists as a founding father of the Zionist movement. Religious Zionists see him, additionally, as an unquestioned spiritual and altruistic authority with extraordinary halakhic, philosophical, and Kabbalistic intuitions. While Rabbi Kook has often been studied through historical and philosophical disciplines, this book addresses the degree to which his writings can prove to be beneficial to the postmodern discourse. It examines Rabbi Kook’s ideas in the religious Zionist context, analyzing the concept of the perfect man in Rabbi Kook's philosophy in light of the postmodern discourse on saints.


Dov Schwartz, a former Dean of Humanities at Bar Ilan University and head of the departments of Philosophy and of Music, currently heads its interdisciplinary unit, and holds the Natalie and Isidore Friedman Chair for Teaching Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Thought.