The Ritual-Less Jew: Jewish Studies between the Universal and the Particular

Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 30 (1):172-188 (2022)
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Abstract

This article uses Kalman P. Bland’s The Artless Jew as a way to think about the recent history of the study of Judaism. The discipline’s preoccupation with disembodied texts has led to a way to conceptualize and situate Jews and Judaism that leaves certain blind spots and lacunae within our dominant narratives. To illumine some of these, the article focuses on ritual and what we can learn about the study of ritual in Judaism – and the study of Judaism more generally – by connecting it not to the particularities of Jewishness, but to the ostensible universalism of larger fields of study, such as the academic study of religion.

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