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Sanity and SanctityMental Health Work Among the Ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem$
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David Greenberg and Eliezer Witztum

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300071917

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300071917.001.0001

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Beliefs and Delusions

Beliefs and Delusions

(p.37) 7 Beliefs and Delusions
Sanity and Sanctity

David Greenberg

Eliezer Witztum

Yale University Press

This chapter identifies some features to distinguish between normal religious beliefs and psychotic delusions in the context of ultra-orthodox Jewish beliefs. Among these are that ideas are private; they give a special role to the individual in contrast to others; and they are out of step with current religious thinking. Nevertheless, private messianic beliefs have been reported over the past two millennia by people who have been seriously accepted by the general public and even by religious leaders as the Messiah.

Keywords:   religious beliefs, psychotic delusions, ultra-orthodox Jews, Jewish beliefs, messianic beliefs

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