Secularism in Question

Jews and Judaism in Modern Times

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Editor(s): 
Ari Joskowicz, Ethan B. Katz
Jewish Culture and Contexts
  • Philadelphia, PA: 
    University of Pennsylvania Press
    , June
     2015.
     424 pages.
     $65.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780812247275.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

For much of the twentieth century, most religious and secular Jewish thinkers believed that they were witnessing a steady, ongoing movement toward secularization. Toward the end of the century, however, as scholars and pundits began to speak of the global resurgence of religion, the normalization of secularism could no longer be considered inevitable. Recent decades have seen the strengthening of Orthodox movements in the United States and in Israel; religious Zionism has grown and radically changed since the 1960s, and new and vibrant nondenominational Jewish movements have emerged.

Secularism in Question examines the ways these contemporary revivals of religion prompt a reconsideration of many issues concerning Jews and Judaism from the early modern era to the present. Bringing together scholars of history, religion, philosophy, and literature, this volume illustrates how the categories of "religious" and "secular" have frequently proven far more permeable than fixed. The contributors challenge the problematic assumptions about the development of secularism that emerge from Protestant European and American perspectives and demonstrate that global Jewish experiences necessitate a reappraisal of conventional narratives of secularism. Ultimately, Secularism in Question calls for rethinking the very terms that animate many of the most contentious debates in contemporary Jewish life and far beyond.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Ari Joskowicz teaches Jewish studies and European studies at Vanderbilt University. He is author of The Modernity of Others: Jewish Anti-Catholicism in Germany and France.

Ethan Katz teaches history at the University of Cincinnati.

Keywords: 

Comments

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.