Strife In The Sanctuary / Edition 1

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For more than forty years there was a single synagogue in the quiet town of Williamette, Oregon. But then disagreements over gender roles, homosexuality, Israeli politics, and other issues tore the synagogue in two. Where there was once one Jewish community under one roof, there are now two hostile congregations—one Reconstructionist, one Orthodox—across the street from one another. Through a year as a participant in both congregations and in-depth interviews, Zuckerman tells a mesmerizing story of this religious schism. Strife in the Sanctuary then contemplates why religious groups split apart and how religious symbols come to mean different things to different groups. The first book-length study of a single congregation breaking in two, Strife in the Sanctuary provides a welcome ethnographic study for sociologists of religion. Plus, its moving story makes it an excellent read for undergraduate classes or anyone interested in religious divisions.

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Editorial Reviews

American Jewish History
An eminently readable congregational study....Zuckerman's pursuit of neighborhood drama results in a narrative that unfolds like a novel, complete with characters, plot development, and resolution. Instead of masking the American Jewish experience with statistics and jargon, Zuckerman introduces the reader to the individuals living and shaping, smiling and sweating the American Jewish experience....Zuckerman's lively style and descriptive tone help to create a vivid picture of the community....Zuckerman's research yields macro results as well....Community leaders should take note for Zuckerman' study reveals the struggle of one community with issues that face nearly all contemporary Jewish communities. This congregational schism, claims Zuckerman, is neither unique nor isolated, but typical of a general trend within American Judaism....A fascinating contribution to both the sociology of religious schism and the understanding of the functioning of a congregation in the Western United States.
— Joellyn Wallen Zollman, (Brandeis University)
Contemporary Psychology
Strife in the Sanctuary should provide a good read to both those (largely undergraduates) who like a good narrative and those (largely their professors) who might prefer a more theoretical informed account.
— J. Alan Winter, (Connecticut College)
Phil Zuckerman tells an intriguing tale of the religious schism that took place in the Jewish community of Willamette, Oregon. Zuckerman shows us how the conflicting world-views in the community played out in every possible direction, finally producing an Orthodox shul and a progressive, renewal-oriented congregation. Yet he shows too how the dance of separation is still a dance with each other; Zuckerman's account is nuanced and fun to read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761990543
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology at Pitzer College.

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Table of Contents

chapter 1 1. Introduction chapter 2 2. Two Congregations chapter 3 3. Community Forms chapter 4 4. The Community Before the Storm chapter 5 5. Division Begins chapter 6 6. Orthodoxy chapter 7 7. The Schism chapter 8 8. Then There Were Two chapter 9 9. The Sociology of Religious Schism chapter 10 10. Conclusion chapter 11 Glossary

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