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Modes of Authority and the Development of the Dönme sects

Modes of Authority and the Development of the Dönme sects

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Published by Adamo Green

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Published by: Adamo Green on Apr 05, 2013
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And the Spirit of Sabbatai ZeviMoved Upon the Waters
Modes of Authority and the Development of theDonme Sects
Benjamin 2
 The conversion of the purported Jewish messiah Sabbatai Zevi to Islam in 1666 created acrisis among his followers. Many returned to mainstream Judaism; others remained secretSabbateans. However, a small group in Salonika followed their master into apostasy, convertingto Islam in imitation of Sabbatai Zevi. This group, known as the Donme, was very homogenousat the beginning; its members were few in number, knew each other well, and tended to berelated to one another. However, shortly after the death of Sabbatai Zevi they split into threefactions (a fourth, the Frankists, arose later in Europe), who differed greatly from each other inorganization, ritual, and theology. This thesis examines two main distinctions between the groups that led to their divergentoutcomes. First, I examine the differences in modes of authority between the groups. In order todo this, I conceptualize two models of authority, the mundane and the charismatic (loosely basedon Bruce Lincoln and Max Weber’s theories of authority). The four groups are compared andcontrasted based on the degree to which they rely on each of the modes of authority.I also examine the ways in which each group linked itself to Sabbatai Zevi andlegitimated itself as the rightful successors to his legacy. In this case this thesis distinguishesamong legitimacies conveyed by the body of the messiah, the soul of the messiah, and the ideasand teachings of the messiah. Each of these pathways was claimed by one of the major groups,with major implications for the sect’s theology and ideology.
Benjamin 3
 Table of Contents
Abstract 2Chapter I: Introduction and History 5Introduction and transliterations 5Kabbalah 6Messiahship 10Sabbatai Zevi 13 The Sabbatean movement 19Arrest and conversion 24Beginnings of the Donme 25Chapter II: Authority, Legitimacy, and Development 36 The nature of authority 36 The Yakubi: Pragmatists and politicians 39 The Karakas: Mystical fraternity 43 The Frankists: Donme in Europe 48 The Kapanci: Merchants and educators 50Modes of successorship: Physical, spiritual, and intellectual 52Concluding Remarks 57Bibliography 61
Figures, Charts, and Appendices

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