The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(432 words)

The golem (Hebr., ‘unformed mass’), a figure from Jewish folk mythology, is an artificial anthropoid, whose magical creation is attributed in most literary sources to historical Rabbi Loew (c. 1512–1609). The origin of the legend of the golem is difficult to trace. Its first mentions (in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries) refer to a golem narrative said to date from the fourth century BCE. The key setting of the presentation of the golem is most often a situation of need or persecution among …

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Haydt, Claudia, “Golem”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 28 February 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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