Jewish Orthodoxy and Its Discontents: Religious Dissidence in Contemporary Israel

Jewish Orthodoxy and Its Discontents: Religious Dissidence in Contemporary Israel

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by Marta F. Topel
     
 

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In this book, Marta T. Topel utilizes anthropological research to analyze both macro and micro social processes among secular and Orthodox Jews in Israel. She covers such complex issues as the tensions between the two groups and the radicalization of Israeli Jewish Orthodoxy in the last thirty years. The book also delves into micro social processes such as the long

Overview

In this book, Marta T. Topel utilizes anthropological research to analyze both macro and micro social processes among secular and Orthodox Jews in Israel. She covers such complex issues as the tensions between the two groups and the radicalization of Israeli Jewish Orthodoxy in the last thirty years. The book also delves into micro social processes such as the long and tortured journey of Israeli religious dissidents and the role of non-governmental organizations in helping these dissidents adapt to secular society. In addition, she discusses the symbolic and ritual paraphernalia that dissidents must become familiar with in order to be successful in their new lives as secular Jews. Jewish Orthodoxy and Its Discontents approaches the phenomenon of religious dissidence within the Jewish Israeli Orthodoxy through the lens of the inverse phenomenon: religious conversion to Jewish Orthodoxy. This outlook is based on theoretical ground as both events constitute a radical change of the ideology of both the social actors and the social structures they have abandoned.

Editorial Reviews

David Lehmann
Professor Topel is a unique figure in the sociology of contemporary Jewish culture. This is because she comes with no axe to grind, with no political or religious agenda, and with the sensibility of the insider combined with the discerning eye of the outsider. In a world where Jewish studies tend to be undertaken by people with an identifiable—though to be sure, not always partisan—religious or political allegiance, this is something to be valued and nourished.
Eyal Ben-Ari
This intriguing volume skillfully analyzes a hitherto little studied phenomenon in contemporary Israel: members of the Jewish ultra-orthodox community who question many of its assumptions and practices and seek alternative answers and lives outside of it. Placing her analysis within the broad contours of the debate about . . . religious disenchantment or re-enchantment of societies, Topel admirably shows how complex the contemporary scene is. As such, her ethnography richly portrays both the broad social and institutional aspects of this phenomenon and the very human voices that it encompasses.
Journal Of Contemporary Religion
This is an accessible and engaging study of ultra-orthodox Jewish dissidents in contemporary Israel. The relationship between the ultra-orthodox and secular enclaves of society rarely leaves Israeli media and has not made international headlines. For example, there is a raging debate about the conscription of ultra-orthodox Jews into the army. Yet, despite the importance of this issue, there is a lack of sociological research and little data on the issue of dissent; Marta Topel’s book is an important work that helps to fill this gap in the literature. . . .Given its wide lens of analysis, Jewish Orthodoxy and its Discontents is useful for anyone who wants to learn about the ultra-orthodox or the relationship between the different enclaves of Israeli society by approaching them through the issue of religious dissidents; the book will be helpful to both academics and non specialists with an interest in the issue. This is a fascinating book which I recommend highly.
Religion
[The author provides] an . . . insight into the relationship between what to most outsiders appears as a suffocatingly repressive and incomprehensibly dreary social world and its surrounding society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761859178
Publisher:
University Press of America
Publication date:
08/16/2012
Pages:
170
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Marta F. Topel is an anthropologist, researcher, and lecturer in the Program for Jewish Studies at the University of São Paulo. She is the author of Jerusalem and São Paulo: the New Jewish Orthodox in Focus and has written several articles on Jewish orthodoxy, modern Judaism, and religious fundamentalism in Brazil.

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Jewish Orthodoxy and Its Discontents: Religious Dissidence in Contemporary Israel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Discontinued.