Gershom Scholem stands out among modern thinkers for the richness
and power of his historical imagination. A work widely esteemed as
his magnum opus, Sabbatai ?evi offers a vividly detailed account of
the only messianic movement ever to engulf the entire Jewish world.
Sabbatai ?evi was an obscure kabbalist rabbi of seventeenth-century
Turkey who aroused a fervent following that spread over the Jewish
world after he declared himself to be the Messiah. The movement
suffered a severe blow when ?evi was forced to convert to Islam,
but a clandestine sect survived. A monumental and revisionary work
of Jewish historiography, Sabbatai ?evi details ?evi's rise to
prominence and stands out for its combination of philological and
empirical authority and passion. This edition contains a new
introduction by Yaacob Dweck that explains the scholarly importance
of Scholem's work to a new generation of readers.
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