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Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel (Cambridge Middle East Studies)

Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel (Cambridge Middle East Studies)

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Guy Ben-Porat
Cambridge University Press, 3/25/2013
EAN 9781107003446, ISBN10: 110700344X

Hardcover, 284 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
Language: English

A thriving, yet small, liberal component in Israeli society has frequently taken issue with the constraints imposed by religious orthodoxy, largely with limited success. However, Guy Ben-Porat suggests, in recent years, in part because of demographic changes and in part because of the influence of an increasingly consumer-oriented society, dramatic changes have occurred in secularization of significant parts of public and private lives. Even though these fissures often have more to do with lifestyle choices and economics than with political or religious ideology, the demands and choices of a secular public and a burgeoning religious presence in the government are becoming ever more difficult to reconcile. The evidence, which the author has accrued from numerous interviews and a detailed survey, is nowhere more telling than in areas that demand religious sanction such as marriage, burial, the sale of pork, and the operation of businesses on the Sabbath.

Figures and tables
Preface and acknowledgments
1. Unpacking secularization
2. Israel
from status quo to crisis
3. The state of marriage
regulating and de-regulating love
4. Burial
a matter of lifestyle
5. Pig on the plate
from 'white steak' to pork
6. Live and let buy
bargaining for Sabbath
7. Conclusions
Bibliography
Index.