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The term “Hasidism” (from Heb. ḥāsı̂d, “devout, pious”) is a general one for various popular movements in Judaism that historically bore no relation to one another.

1. There was first the “assembly of the devout” (synagogē asidaiōn), which came on the scene at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt (1 Macc. 2:42) and was distinguished for strict adherence to the Torah (vv. 29–38). It is conjectured that the Essenes (Qumran) and Pharisees had their roots here.

2. There was then Ashkenazic Hasidism, in Germany in the 12th and 13th centuries. Perhaps influenced by the Crusades, this gro…

Cite this page
Schäfer, Peter, “Hasidism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_H29>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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