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{Empty title} | The Nation

One thing that irks me about Grafton's interesting and clear review is its designation of Scholem as "no religious believer." Maybe GS's views about Judaism, the law, and the Kabbalah were idiosyncratic, at least enough that it would be unobjectionable to note that he was far from Jewish orthodoxy, but to say that he was no believer is to ignore a number of clear statements to the contrary. Although these can be found in a number of places, we can turn for some examples to Steven Wasserstrom's study Religion After Religion, part of which has to do with an analysis of GS's personal points of view about religion and orthodoxy. We find here tantalizing statements from GS, like the characterization of "the secularization process (as) the barbarization of the so-called new culture," the insistence that his "secularism is not secular," and that "the redeemed state is where human experience begins"(60-61).

Also, I don't think it is fair to compare an historical enigma to whatever another poster has in mind when he mentions a Masonic conspiracy.