New Book: Disputed Messiahs by Rebekka Voß
Rebekka Voß, Disputed Messiahs: Jewish and Christian Messianism in the Ashkenazic World during the Reformation, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2021.
Disputed Messiahs: Jewish and Christian Messianism in the Ashkenazic World during the Reformation is the first comprehensive study that situates Jewish messianism in its broader cultural, social, and religious contexts within the surrounding Christian society. By doing so, Rebekka Voß shows how the expressions of Jewish and Christian end-time expectation informed one another. Although the two groups disputed the different messiahs they awaited, they shared principal hopes and fears relating to the end of days. Drawing on a great variety of both Jewish and Christian sources in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, and Latin, the book examines how Jewish and Christian messianic ideology and politics were deeply linked. It explores how Jews and Christians each reacted to the other’s messianic claims, apocalyptic beliefs, and eschatological interpretations, and how they adapted their own views of the last days accordingly. This comparative study of the messianic expectations of Jews and Christians in the Ashkenazic world during the Reformation and their entanglements contributes a new facet to our understanding of cultural transfer between Jews and Christians in the early modern period.