Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel

Overview

A thriving, yet small, liberal component in Israeli society has frequently taken issue with the constraints imposed by religious orthodoxy, largely with limited success. However, Guy Ben-Porat suggests, in recent years, in part because of demographic changes and in part because of the influence of an increasingly consumer-oriented society, dramatic changes have occurred in secularization of significant parts of public and private lives. Even though these fissures often have more to do with lifestyle choices and ...
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Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel

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Overview

A thriving, yet small, liberal component in Israeli society has frequently taken issue with the constraints imposed by religious orthodoxy, largely with limited success. However, Guy Ben-Porat suggests, in recent years, in part because of demographic changes and in part because of the influence of an increasingly consumer-oriented society, dramatic changes have occurred in secularization of significant parts of public and private lives. Even though these fissures often have more to do with lifestyle choices and economics than with political or religious ideology, the demands and choices of a secular public and a burgeoning religious presence in the government are becoming ever more difficult to reconcile. The evidence, which the author has accrued from numerous interviews and a detailed survey, is nowhere more telling than in areas that demand religious sanction such as marriage, burial, the sale of pork, and the operation of businesses on the Sabbath.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book provides useful information about the politis of the Israeli religious-secular divide and its evolution in recent decades. It is also timely in terms of the broader debate about the place of religion in Western democratic societies. Ben-Portat posits an important distinction between secularism and secularization … Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty."
D. Schwan-Baird, Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107003446
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2013
  • Series: Cambridge Middle East Studies, #42
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Guy Ben-Porat has been with the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Ben-Gurion University since 2001. He is a co-author of Israel Since 1980 (2008) and co-editor of The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenship: Land, Religion and State (2011).
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Table of Contents

Figures and tables; Preface and acknowledgments; 1. Unpacking secularization; 2. Israel: from status quo to crisis; 3. The state of marriage: regulating and de-regulating love; 4. Burial: a matter of lifestyle; 5. Pig on the plate: from 'white steak' to pork; 6. Live and let buy: bargaining for Sabbath; 7. Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.
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