cover of book

Religion or Ethnicity?: Jewish Identities in Evolution
edited by Zvi Gitelman
contributions by Julian Levinson, Charles Liebman, Yaacov Yadgar, Mark Tessler, Shachar Pinsker, Calvin Goldscheider, Adam Chalom, Zvi Gitelman, Yaron Eliav, Gabriele Boccaccini, Miriam Bodian, Steven Nadler, David Fishman, Scott Spector and Todd Endelman
Rutgers University Press, 2009
Cloth: 978-0-8135-4450-2 | Paper: 978-0-8135-4451-9
Library of Congress Classification DS143.R374 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.8924

Can someone be considered Jewish if he or she never goes to synagogue, doesn't keep kosher, and for whom the only connection to his or her ancestral past is attending an annual Passover seder?

In Religion or Ethnicity? fifteen leading scholars trace the evolution of Jewish identity. The book examines Judaism from the Greco-Roman age, through medieval times, modern western and eastern Europe, to today. Jewish identity has been defined as an ethnicity, a nation, a culture, and even a race. Religion or Ethnicity? questions what it means to be Jewish. The contributors show how the Jewish people have evolved over time in different ethnic, religious, and political movements. In his closing essay, Gitelman questions the viability of secular Jewishness outside Israel but suggests that the continued interest in exploring the relationship between Judaism's secular and religious forms will keep the heritage alive for generations to come.

See other books on: Ethnicity | Gitelman, Zvi | Israel | Nadler, Steven | Secularism
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