Circumscribing Spiritual Territory

Scott Spector

in Prague Territories

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520219090
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929777 | DOI:
Circumscribing Spiritual Territory

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter argues that Zionism is not the impossible dream, but rather something fully accessible—only it is itself not the ultimate object, but the “entrance” to something far less accessible but more important. The consciousness of a deep-seated dualism that could be overcome only by a messianic moment of revelation ran through the programmatic expressionist writings of Paul Kornfeld and the struggle with politics of Franz Werfel, into the circle of Praguers who had begun to think about their Judaism in a different way than their parents had done. Searching for ecstatic revolution, for a simultaneous escape from the European crisis and their particular territorial dilemma in Prague, the Zionists of the Prague circle, as if following Kornfeld's and Werfel's prescriptions, looked into themselves for access to the universal.

Keywords: zionism; deep-seated dualism; moment of revelation; Paul Kornfeld; Franz Werfel; European crisis; Judaism; Prague circle

Chapter.  10755 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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