Church/Sect Theory and American Orthodoxy Reconsidered

By Adam S. Ferziger

Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press, 2007

Charles Liebman's assessment of Orthodoxy in the 1960s included a bifurcation of the Orthodox community into two camps, the "church" or modern Orthodoxy and "sectarian" Orthodoxy. The former was primarily concerned with establishing Orthodox life in an American context while the latter remained more isolated in its survivalist focus on maintaining Jewish tradition. In recent decades, however, these trends have become less distinct. Modern Orthodoxy has undergone a "shift to the right" while sectarian (or "traditional") Orthodoxy has begun an extensive program of outreach to fellow Jews (kiruv) regardless of affiliation. As modern Orthodox rabbis shy away from non-Orthodox settings and as sectarian Orthodox learning communities (kollels) embrace even Jews married to non-Jews, the landscape of today's Orthodox world appears much more complex than that of fifty years ago.

Topic: Orthodox Judaism, Jewish Text, Outreach, Religious Denominations, Communal Organization

Name of Publication: Ambivalent Jew: Charles Liebman in Memoriam

Editor: Cohen, Stuart , Susser, Bernard

Page Number(s): 107-124

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Genre: Book Chapter

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Ferziger, Adam S. Church/Sect Theory and American Orthodoxy Reconsidered. Ambivalent Jew: Charles Liebman in Memoriam. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press. 2007: 107-124.


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