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Honored by the Glory of IslamConversion and Conquest in Ottoman Empire$
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Marc David Baer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331752.001.0001

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Converting the Jewish Prophet and Jewish Physicians

Converting the Jewish Prophet and Jewish Physicians

(p.121) 6 Converting the Jewish Prophet and Jewish Physicians
Honored by the Glory of Islam

Marc David Baer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter first explores how the attempt of the sultan, his preacher, and the grand vizier to stamp out what they considered heterodox, illegitimate practices among Muslims; to root out heresy and dampen religious ecstasy; and to destroy places where rapturous religious practices were performed which coincided with the outbreak of Shabbatai Tzevi's preaching, aiming to reform Jewish life and convert Jews to the rabbi's understanding of God's prophecy. The movement culminated instead in Jewish conversion to Islam as the sultan's preacher, Vani Mehmed Efendi, instructed the rabbi in Kadızadeli tenets of Islam. Hundreds of the rabbi's followers followed suit. The Islamic reform movement that promoted a rational religion preferred by the sultan prevailed at the time over the competing ecstatic conversion movement of the rabbi. The second part of the chapter examines Hatice Turhan's conversion of other Jews at the sultan's court, especially the group of Jewish palace physicians, the most visible and influential Jews in the empire.

Keywords:   Shabbatai Tzevi, Jews, Muslims, Islam, religious conversion, Hatice Turhan

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