Traditionalism and the Critique of Israeli Secularism


Yaacov Yadgar

Publisher Van Leer Institute Press and Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2012
Series Theory and Criticism in Context Series

Using the theoretical insights generated by the productive contemporary discourse that criticizes secularization as a sociological theory and a historical narrative, Traditionalism and the Critique of Israeli Secularism proposes a framework for re-examining the concepts of “Jewish identity,” “tradition,” “modernity,” and “secularization” in the Jewish-Israeli context. The book presents an epistemological framework that eschews such binary divisions as religious/secular, or traditional/modern. This epistemology, which the author calls “traditionalism,” reveals the hidden and repudiated aspects of secular Jewish identity in Israel. But mainly it reveals the dependence of secularism on the state religion, the inseparable connection between nationhood and religion, and the denial of the ethnic component in the structure of secular identity. In sum, the traditionalist paradigm offers a new critical perspective and a fruitful and fascinating alternative for exploring Israeli society and its sociology.

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