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Gods in AmericaReligious Pluralism in the United States$
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Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.001.0001

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Religious Pluralism in American Judaism

Religious Pluralism in American Judaism

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter 6 Religious Pluralism in American Judaism
Source:
Gods in America
Author(s):

Deborah Dash Moore

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.003.0006

What makes the American experience particularly interesting for Jews involves the structure it provides for religious pluralism within Judaism together with a framework for situating Jews and their religious differences within the nation. But structural pluralism—the array of religious affiliation available to Jews in the United States—has not accompanied a broad ideological commitment to religious pluralism as either an inherent or instrumentalist good. World War II powerfully influenced Jewish religious pluralism and promoted a form of ecumenism among all Jews. In the following decades, however, debates about denominational boundaries, the degree of tolerable interaction with non-Jews (most particularly through intermarriage), the politics (religious and otherwise) of Israel, and the coming of the Messiah, along with efforts by certain segments of Orthodoxy to impose a single definition of Jewishness, led to deep differences over how to maintain religious freedom for individuals and pluralism among and perhaps even within groups.

Keywords:   Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Judeo-Christian tradition, anti-Semitism

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