Judaism and Modernization on the Religious Kibbutz

Overview

This work in the field of intellectual history explores religious ideas which emerged in Jewish thought under the influence of secular ideologies, and in response to the social and cultural realities created by Jewish Emancipation, Zionism, and socialism. By concentrating on the major Jewish Orthodox modernizing movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Dr. Fishman examines the innovative mechanisms of traditional Judaism that were activated by these movements, as they strove to accommodate new ...
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Overview

This work in the field of intellectual history explores religious ideas which emerged in Jewish thought under the influence of secular ideologies, and in response to the social and cultural realities created by Jewish Emancipation, Zionism, and socialism. By concentrating on the major Jewish Orthodox modernizing movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Dr. Fishman examines the innovative mechanisms of traditional Judaism that were activated by these movements, as they strove to accommodate new realities. In his sociological analysis of the interplay between religion and ideology in the Orthodox innovators' building of their new religious systems, Fishman breaks new theoretical ground. The study focuses specifically on the Religious Kibbutz Federation in Israel, which developed a religious sub-culture that incorporated the central values of Jewish nationalism and socialism. The author shows that the self-contained pioneering settlements of the RKF--embodying as they do an operational synthesis of modern, and traditional Jewish, cultures--may be regarded as a test case for the measure of the capacity of historic Judaism to adapt to modern life at a community level.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Fishman, as a phenomenologist, allows us to experience, vicariously, the tensions between religious commitment, socialist norms, and economic realities better than an externalist analysis might." Contemporary Sociology

"Students of the kibbutz and of religious movements will find this study worth their close attention." Walter Hirsch, Shofar

"...a noteworthy contribution to the study of religion and modernization..." American Journal of Sociology

"What makes his contribution particularly unique is that his focus is on the Religious Kibbutz Federation in Israel, a federation that was not only religious, but which also incorportated the central values of Jewish nationalsim and socialism. Moreover, he inverts the usual approach to Orthodoxy by suggesting that traditional Judaism can provide 'vigorous mechanisms for legitimate innovation in response to modernity, as well as limit change'....Fishman deftly characterizes the intellectual processes and forces whereby the very traditions that rail against modernism become modern phenomena by skillfully weaving an array of theoretical arguments and primary data to make his points. Fishman leaves the reader with an appreciation of his command of the historical scholarship." Debra Kaufman, Critical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521050272
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Prologue 7
1 Conceptual and historical background 9
Pt. 2 The Parent Orthodox Modernizing Movements 29
2 Torah-im-Derekh Eretz 31
3 Religious Zionism 46
Pt. 3 The Religious Kibbutz Movement 67
4 The foundations of the Religious Kibbutz Movement 69
5 Charisma and rationalization 81
6 The halakhic-socialist collective 101
7 The confrontation between halakhah and external reality 115
8 Between heteronomous and autonomous authority 141
Afterword 158
Appendix A The Religious Kibbutz Federation settlements 160
Appendix B About the religious kibbutz members quoted in this book 161
Appendix C Ideological periodicals referred to in book 164
Notes 165
Index 194
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