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Shared IdentitiesMedieval and Modern Imaginings of Judeo-Islam$
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Aaron Hughes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190684464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190684464.001.0001

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Messianism in the Shadows

Messianism in the Shadows

(p.62) 3 Messianism in the Shadows
Shared Identities

Aaron W. Hughes

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 deals with the decades immediately following the death of Muhammad and examines an inchoate set of overlapping Islams that use a number of Jewish themes and motifs (e.g., messianism) without attribution or even awareness. Such Islamically underdefined social groups paradoxically created a number of diverse and equally underdefined Jewish responses that run the gamut from the apocalyptic to what would only later emerge as normative. This is a far cry from the regnant narrative that imagines a normative and a stable Judaism on the Arabian Peninsula in the late antique period. This does not rule out that a normative Judaism was being developed in the workshops associated with the rabbis in Babylonia. What it does mean is that many scholars from the nineteenth century onward have assumed that what was happening in Babylonia was simply and straightforwardly representative of the entire Jewish world.

Keywords:   apocalyptic, messianism, Isawiyya, Saadya Gaon, Karaites, Shiʿism

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