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Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666 - 1816$
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Ada Rapoport-Albert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764807

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764807.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Sabbatian Women as Religious Activists

Sabbatian Women as Religious Activists

(p.80) Three Sabbatian Women as Religious Activists
Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666 - 1816

Ada Rapoport-Albert

Liverpool University Press

This chapter cites the dawning messianic age, which was characterized by the biblical prophet Joel, who had brought the spirit to rest upon women, which was common to Sabbatianism and a diversity of early modern Christian religious enthusiasm' movements. It analyses the breakdown of barriers by which rabbinic tradition had always marked the inherent difference between the sexes and assigned the discrete spheres of activity. It also talks about messianic believers who displayed an unprecedented willingness to recognize as fully legitimate the phenomenon of 'spinster', 'maiden', or 'virgin' prophetesses. The chapter mentions prophetic women described as 'possessed' in Hayim Vital's Book of Visions or in later exorcism accounts which proliferated in east European hasidism. It explains the instinctive rabbinic response to the 'aberration' of prophetic chastity in women that were aimed to suppress the phenomenon in diverse times and places.

Keywords:   messianic age, biblical prophet, Sabbatianism, rabbinic tradition, prophetesses, prophetic women, prophetic chastity, spinster, maiden

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