Jay Michaelson

Dec 6, 2022

The Heresy of Jacob Frank

From Jewish Messianism to Esoteric Myth

Oxford University Press 2022

In The Heresy of Jacob Frank: From Jewish Messianism to Esoteric Myth (Oxford University Press, 2022), Jay Michaelson explores the religious philosophy of the mercurial eighteenth-century figure Jacob Frank, who, in the wake of false messiah Sabbetai Zevi, led the largest mass apostasy in Jewish history. Based on close readings of Frank's late teachings, recorded in 1784 and 1790, Michaelson challenges scholarly presentations of Frank that depict him as a sex-crazed "degenerate," and presents Frank as an original and prescient figure at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, reason and magic, Kabbalah and Western Esotericism.

Jay Michaelson is an affiliated assistant professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and a visiting scholar at the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion.

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.

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Zalman Newfield

Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press).

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