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Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 119–139 | Cite as

The Circularity of Secularity: The Sacred and the Secular in Some Contemporary Post-Holocaust Identity Narratives

  • Debra Kaufman
Article

Abstract

This article explores some of the methodological and theoretical critiques concerning the meaning and measure of secularity and religiosity in contemporary Jewish identity research and compares them to critiques of secularization theory. Data from an ongoing study of contemporary post-Holocaust identity narratives of seventy American and twenty Israeli young adults between the ages of twenty and thirty are used as descriptive examples of the fluid and creative ways in which secularity and religiosity are invented and reinvented. These data offer glimpses of the ways in which young people reposition themselves within the institutional and linguistic spaces of the secular and the sacred. For many, their concerns begin with their own particular Jewishness and then often circle back to a “secular” and/or more universal expression of that particularity.

Keywords

Jewish identity Secularism Secularity Religiosity Post-Holocaust Jewish narratives 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

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