Matching Items (3)

154135-Thumbnail Image.png

Accounting for Judaism in the study of American messianic Judaism

Description

Since its modern renaissance in the mid-1970s, the Messianic Jewish movement in America has grown from a handful of house churches to a network of hundreds of synagogues and congregations.

Since its modern renaissance in the mid-1970s, the Messianic Jewish movement in America has grown from a handful of house churches to a network of hundreds of synagogues and congregations. Mainline American Judaism has unanimously rejected the argument that Jews who believe in Jesus continue to be members of the Jewish community or that their religion is a form of contemporary Judaism. Scholars have accounted for Messianic Judaism as a new religious movement but no consensus has formed on whether to classify Messianic Jewish religion as a sectarian form of Protestant Christianity or American Judaism.

This dissertation uses a polythetic approach to defining Judaism and a comparative approach to studying religions in order to make sense of Hashivenu, a newly emergent community of Messianic Jews, and the claim that their religion is “truly” Judaism and not Christianity. It addresses the question of how scholars of religion can account for Messianic Judaism in the mapping of American religion without succumbing to essentialist definitions of Judaism that religious communities use to set boundaries and differentiate themselves from competing groups.

Following the lead set by Bruce Lincoln on defining religion in four domains and Michael Satlow on defining Judaism through the use of conceptual maps, research on Messianic Judaism suggests that individual beliefs about whether Jesus is or is not the Messiah or part of a Trinitarian theology are less important to the academic classificatory project than is the authorizing religious discourse of the New Testament to which all Messianic Jews, including the Hashivenu group, appeal for creating community, legitimating practice, and constructing a Messianic Jewish worldview. Since Messianic Judaism properly contributes simultaneously to maps of both Judaism and Christianity, Hashivenu’s prescriptive approach to creating Judaism out of characteristics from two historically competitive, even antithetical religious traditions challenges scholars to contend with the limitations of defining Judaism and Christianity within the parameters of an unpopular but still regnant World Religions discourse predicated on the presumption that the two religions have long ago permanently parted ways.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

153062-Thumbnail Image.png

Hybrid Judaism: Irving Greenberg and the encounter with American Jewish identity

Description

Over the course of more than half a century, Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg has developed a distinctive theology of intra- and inter-group relations. Deeply influenced by his experiences in the

Over the course of more than half a century, Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg has developed a distinctive theology of intra- and inter-group relations. Deeply influenced by his experiences in the Christian-Jewish dialogue movement, Greenberg's covenantal theology and image of God idea coalesce into what I refer to as Hybrid Judaism, a conceptualization that anticipated key aspects David Hollinger's notion of Postethnicity. As such, Greenberg's system of thought is mistakenly categorized (by himself, as well as others) as an expression of pluralism. The twentieth century arc of social theories of group life in America, from Melting Pot to Postethnicity by way of Cultural Pluralism, serves to highlight the fact that Greenberg is better located at the latter end of this arc (Postethnicity), rather than in the middle (Pluralism). Central to Greenberg's proto-postethnic theology is the recognition of the transformative power of encounter in an open society. Greenberg's ideas are themselves the product of such encounters. Understood fully, Hybrid Judaism has great relevance for American Jewish identity in the twenty-first century.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

156499-Thumbnail Image.png

Anti-semitism and Israel affiliation in the American Jewish community: an analysis of American Jewish identity

Description

Relevant literature was analyzed alongside interview data from participants concerning issues of anti-Semitism, Israel affiliation, and Jewish identity. Qualitative coding and theme identification were used to determine possible relationships among

Relevant literature was analyzed alongside interview data from participants concerning issues of anti-Semitism, Israel affiliation, and Jewish identity. Qualitative coding and theme identification were used to determine possible relationships among the variables, with special attention to the role anti-Semitism plays in influencing Israel affiliation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 young American Jews (18-24) currently enrolled as undergraduate students in universities. The results revealed that continuity of the Jewish people is a core value for many American Jews. Anti-Semitism is often under reported by young American Jews, but for some anti-Israel sentiments are conflated with anti-Semitism. It was also observed that knowledge of anti-Semitism plays an integral role in shaping Jewish identity. Finally, it was found that Israel affiliation polarizes the Jewish community, often resulting in the exclusion of left-leaning Jews from the mainstream Jewish community. These results were analyzed within racial, social, and political frameworks.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018