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The Jewish Messiah as Antichrist: Christian Apocalypticism and Jewish Responses in Reformation Germany

Jewish Antichrist
Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Since Antiquity, Christian theologians have seen in the Antichrist, who would establish his reign of terror before Christ’s Second Coming, the savior the Jews awaited as their Messiah. This notion turned Jewish messianism into a nightmare of ultimate Jewish revenge from a Christian perspective. The lecture investigates how Jews in Reformation Germany, a hotbed of apocalyptic fervour among both Jews and Christians, responded to this biased picture. By showing how Christian perceptions informed Jewish expressions of messianic expectations, the lecture suggests the close entanglement between Christian apocalypticism and Jewish messianism in early modern Germany on both intellectual and social levels.

Rebekka Voß is an Associate Professor of Jewish History at Goethe University Frankfurt. She has held fellowships at Bar Ilan University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Oxford University, and the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia. Her research focuses on Jewish cultural, intellectual and religious history in early modern Europe, with a particular interest in cultural contact and transfer between Jews and their surrounding societies.

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