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The Judaic Reformation as a Sociopolitical Process

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Publication Date: January 1990

Publisher(s): Prentice-Hall, inc.

Author(s): Calvin Goldscheider; Alan Zuckerman

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: World Jews; Jewish culture; Jewish identification

Type: Report


During the period of greatest intellectual innovation, the first half of the 19th Century, the new religious ideas reached the smallest number of Jews. The era of greatest visible impact on the Jewish masses occurred when the ideologies had lost their intellectual vitality. The new ideologies and synagogues did not restructured the lives of the Jews. Religious decline resulted neither from the inability of old ideas to adapt the new conditions nor from the less demanding nature of some of the new religious ideologies, but from transformations in social conditions. The evidence we present rejects the assertion that ideological changes led the forces of religious modernization.