New book: Transcending Diaspora: Studies on Sabbateanism and Diaspora -Cengiz Şişman-


This volume contains nine separate yet interconnected articles on the Ottoman-Jewish messianic Sabbatean movement and the Dönmes in early modern and modern times. The articles are linked by three common issues:

1- How did the Dönmes survive their enigmatic identity among the Jews, Christians and Muslims throughout the centuries; 2- How did the outside world perceive and treat them? And 3-How did the dialectical relationship between Dönme and the Others transform Dönme identity over time?

At the heart of the Dönme self-preservation over centuries stands a crucial and yet idiosyncratic belief with regards to the Diaspora and the Holy/Promised Land. They radically re-conceptualized the notion of the Holy Land, and transcended the painful idea of being away from the “home.”

According to this belief, any land –say Salonica, Istanbul or Izmir- on which the Dönme steps transforms its character and turns into the Holy Land. With this new reinterpretation, the new Holy Land could be—and was—considered a new ontological abode. It is not clear whether this idea was conceived during the time of Sabbatai Sevi, but it is certain that it has been utilized by later Dönme generations in order to engender genuine survival mechanisms and mental comfort in the lands in which they lived.



Section I: 17th Century

1. “Dönme,” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

2. “Global Crisis, Puritanism and Prophesy in the Early Modern World: Some Observations on the Apocalyptic Relationship between Christian Salvation, Jewish Conversion and Turkish Doom and Its Impact on the Sabbatean Movement.” A revised paper presented at the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Los Angeles, 2002.

3. “Hayatizade Mustafa Efendi (Moshe ben Rafael Abravanel), the Physician-in-Chief of the Ottoman Palace: Marrano Legacy, Ottoman Medicine and the Sabbatean Movement.” A revised paper presented at the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS)i Boston, 2000.

4. “A Jewish Messiah from Tartaria in 1671: A New Source on the Lives of Lesser Sabbatian Prophets, Sabbatai Raphael and/or Shilo Sabbatai,” Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts (2003), 63-75.

Section II: 18th -19th centuries

5. “The History of the Naming the Ottoman/Turkish Sabbateans,” in Studies on Istanbul and beyond: the Freely Papers, ed. Robert G. Ousterhout, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), 37-53.

6. “Konvenyamos Konvedrad: Language of Daily Life, Communal Regulations and Liturgies of the Ottoman and Turkish Sabbateans (Dönmes),” in Judeo-Spanish in the Time of Clamoring Nationalisms, ed. Mahir Şaul (Istanbul: Libra Kitap, 2013), 69-98.

7. “Failed Proselytizers or Modernizers?: Protestant Missionaries among the Jews and Sabbatians/Dönmes in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Empire,” Middle Eastern Studies 51:6 ( 2015), 932-949.

Section III: 20th and 21stcenturies

8. “The Dönme Affair: A Letter of a Young Dönme from Salonica on Assimilation (1925),” in The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, ed. Paul Mendes Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 829-833.

9. “Cortijo de Sevi as Lieu de Mémoire: The Past, Present, and Future of Sabbatai Sevi’s House,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 11:1 (Spring 2012), 61-84.



Kitabın Adı: Transcending Diaspora: Studies on Sabbateanism and Diaspora
Yazan: Cengiz Şişman
Yayın Yılı:2016
120,00 TL

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