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Proselytes/Proselytism

(1,656 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina | Carlebach, Elisheva | Grundmann, Christoffer H. | Voss, Gerhard
[German Version] I. Early Judaism The Septuagint uses προσήλυτοι/ prosḗ lytoi, literally “those who have come over,” to translate Hebrew גֵּר/ gēr (“resident alien” [Stranger: II] in the land of Israel, enjoying a special legal status). Toward the end of the ¶ second temple period, proselyte came to denote primarily a convert to Judaism (e.g. Jos. Apion. II 28), with almost the same rights in the Jewish community as someone born a Jew. In early Judaism, three conditions for conversion (VIII) to Judaism were laid down: offering sacrifice (dropped af…

Reuveni, David

(161 words)

Author(s): Carlebach, Elisheva
[German Version] From c. 1525 until 1538, Reuveni made a name for himself with an invented identity. His adopted name suggested a lineage from the ten lost tribes of Israel; his actual origins remain unknown. He proposed to unite his “savage tribes” with the forces of the Christian world, against the Turks. In an age of chiliastic expectations (Eschatology: VIII, 2), this adventurer succeeded in meeting with Pope Clement VII and King JohnIII of Portugal. He was able to rally many Portuguese Marran…

Heresy

(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” derives from Gk αἵρεσις/ haíresis (“act of choice,” “decision”). In the Hellenistic period, when a plurality of philosophical schools had developed, the word was used to express the need of budding philosophers to choose between these schools. Hence it came to be used to denote both a philosophical school and the school's teaching; in…

Frankist Movement

(295 words)

Author(s): Carlebach, Elisheva
[German Version] The Frankist Movement was a Polish-Jewish mystical-messianic movement, which arose c. 1755, founded by the charismatic leader Jakob (Liebowicz) Frank (1726–1791). The movement lasted until the death of Jakob's daughter Eva Frank, 1816. Impressed by ideas from Shabbetai Tzevi, from the Dönmeh in Salonika and Polish Catholicism, Frank convinced members of his circle to convert to Catholicism while not relinquishing their secret adherence to nihilistic Jewish mysticism (III, 2). Frank saw himself ¶ as the last in a series of Jewish messiahs (III). He hope…

Shabbetai Tzevi/Shabbetaianism

(386 words)

Author(s): Carlebach, Elisheva
[German Version] The messianic movement (Messiah) that erupted in 1665 around Shabbetai Tzevi (Jul 23, 1626, Smyrna – presumably Sep 30, 1676, Dulcigno, Albania) was the most widespread such movement in medieval and modern Judaism. Shabbetai Tzevi’s charismatic personality sparked great interest even beyond the Jewish world. Having announced his messianic identity (1648), he was excommunicated by the rabbinic authorities. Only after meeting Nathan of Gaza did he re-assert his messianic identity. He returned to Smyrna (1665) on a wave of ¶ rumor and publicity. When he entered …