New Age Judaism
This edited volume explores a range of experiences and conceptualizations of "New Age Judaism," an imprecise term denoting new and evolving forms of North American Judaism that are typically innovative, combinative, and often controversial. Chapters analyze the phenomenon of New Age Judaism from theoretical, theological and ethnographic perspectives. As a result, they offer a broad sampling of some of the most fascinating forms of Jewish religious expression and philosophy in North America today. Rothenberg explores the teachings of Jewish shamanism and Jewish yoga. Vallely explores the revitalization of Jewish ritual practices achieved through the embrace of Buddhism. Other chapters cover an ethnographically rich account of one synagogue's re-framing of wealth as a form of "energy," a women's ritual within ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal; the 'inclusive' writings of New Age Jewish Renewal leader Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi, which claim not to be combinative at all, but rather a "retrieval" of ancient Jewish wisdom. Experimentation with yoga, drumming, meditation, eclectic musical forms, Buddhism, and egalitarian prayer - once the province of the most marginal of Jewish religious practices - are now being embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm within mainstream Jewish denominations, revealing the gradual "normalization" and incorporation of New Age Judaism's religious forms. New Age Judaism focuses much needed scholarly attention on these new forms and expressions of Judaism both within and outside of the synagogue setting.
Publication Date: 8/1/2008