Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Sabbatean Prophets/ Matt Goldish

This is a superb book, which has the potential of being a classic of Jewish intellectual history and of Jewish historiography. It deals with what one might term the 'expanding ripples' of Sabbateanism as destabilizing factors (and therefore enabling mechanisms) of early modern Judaism, and also is one of a number of recent books highlighting the Converso community as pivotal to the process. The real enjoyment of the book, however, is its comprehensive 'embedding' of Jewish Messianic prophecy of the period in its widest European context - showing how Sabbateanism was both a product of wider trends in Europe ("the comprehensive nexus of Enlightenment") and also, to a degree, contributed to them. It is the opposite of 'Jewish history seen backwards down a long narrow tube'. A real treat to read!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com