Izmir, Thomas Coenen, together with those of Baruch of Arezzo and several non-Jewish observers from various parts of the western world, are brought together with observations of similar mass prophetic events from outside the Jewish world which were nevertheless often attentive to the reports from the Ottoman empire. The fifth chapter, "Opponents and Observers Respond," deals with anti-hagiography and with the peculiar focus of a Christian Dutch millenarian, Peter Serrarius. Serrarius was not a believer in Zvi-as-Zvi but in Zvi as harbinger of the return of the Lost Tribes and thus of the millennium. The last, brief chapter, "Prophecy after Shabbatai's Apostasy" applies the model of L. Festinger's proposal that believers may continue to be believers even--or especially--after their expectations have been disappointed. Goldish applies this study of the mechanisms of (Festinger's) cognitive dissonance theory to the Sabbatean prophets after the late summer of 1666, when Zvi apostatized. It's not clear, however, that this one outcome (of Festinger's five proposed outcomes) can be supported by the data. The theory, good as it continues to be, still has to be applied with discretion. Goldish concludes his work by laying it alongside Scholem's to assert that Scholem, "the last of
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Oct 13, 2005
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