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Goldish...succeeds in going well beyond the foundational work of previous scholars. He achieves this not by uncovering hitherto unknown Sabbatean texts, but by significantly widening the lens through which the Sabbatean messianic phenomenon is viewed, taking his readers on a fascinating voyage through the turbulent worlds of 17th-century religious enthusiasm and prophetic millenarian thought—Christian, Muslim and Jewish...Aside from vividly describing, and explaining the widespread belief in, Sabbatean messianic prophecies, this book refines both the timeline of Sabbateanism's spread and the exact nature of its heresy...Unlike [Richard] Popkin, Goldish can ably decipher the most arcane Hebrew and Aramaic mystical sources; and unlike the famously imaginative and anti-historicist [Moshe] Idel, Goldish brings the sensibilities of the sober historian to his finely nuanced readings of them. The Rabbinical Sages always have insisted that the wisdom of successive generations of Judaic scholars is in perpetual decline. This exciting new book suggests quite the contrary.
— Allan Nadler