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The New Spirituality: Is it Selfish? A CLAL Roundtable

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Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher(s): National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Daniel S. Brenner; Tsvi Blanchard; Andrew Silow-Carroll; David Nelson

Series: CLAL Special Features Archive

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Values; Religion; Modernity; Spirituality

Type: Other


Four Jewish leaders respond to critiques of" the new spirituality," including Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg's characterization of popular interest in Kabbalah and the teachings of the Dalai Lama as a "fad" that is "self-centered," and political scientist Charles Liebman's description of spirituality as a "privatized religion....Its emphases are interpersonal rather than collective." They discuss spirituality and the conflicts, if any, between personal spiritual fulfillment and the collective Jewish experience.