The pronouncements of Sabbatai Tsevi (1626-76) gave rise to Sabbatianism, a key messianic movement in Judaism that spread across Jewish communities in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The movement, which featured a set of theological doctrines in which Jewish Kabbalistic tradition merged with Muslim and later Christian elements, suffered a setback with Tsevi's conversion to Islam in 1666. Nonetheless, for another hundred and fifty years, Sabbatianism continued to exist as a heretical underground movement. It provoked intense opposition from rabbinic authorities for another century and had a significant impact on central developments of later Judaism, such as the Haskalah, the Reform movement, Hasidism, and the secularization of Jewish society. This volume provides a selection of the most original and influential texts composed by Sabbatai Tsevi and his followers, complemented by fragments of the works of their rabbinic opponents and contemporary observers and some literary works inspired by Sabbatianism. An introduction and annotations by Pawe Maciejko provide historical, political, and social context for the documents. Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Sacred Scripture, Sacred War
by James P. Byrd
Publication Date: 2013-06-04
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherman preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war thatAmericans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a bookabout war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiersovercome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartimesources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.