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Sovereign Jews
Israel, Zionism, and Judaism
Sovereign Jews
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Yaacov Yadgar - Author
Price: $85.00 
Hardcover - 288 pages
Release Date: April 2017
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6533-3

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Offers a novel exploration of the relationship between religion and the state in Israel.

The question of Jewish sovereignty shapes Jewish identity in Israel, the status of non-Jews, and relations between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, yet its consequences remain enigmatic. In Sovereign Jews, Yaacov Yadgar highlights the shortcomings of mainstream discourse and offers a novel explanation of Zionist ideology and the Israeli polity. Yadgar argues that secularism’s presumed binary pitting religion against politics is illusory. He shows that the key to understanding this alleged dichotomy is Israel’s interest in maintaining its sovereignty as the nation-state of Jews. This creates a need to mark a majority of the population as Jews and to distinguish them from non-Jews. Coupled with the failure to formulate a viable alternative national identity (either “Hebrew” or “Israeli”), it leads the ostensibly secular state to apply a narrow interpretation of Jewish religion as a political tool for maintaining a Jewish majority.

“This book makes an important contribution to the study of Zionist ideology and the relationship between state and religion in Israel. As the author shows rather convincingly, Zionism and the State of Israel needed the Jewish tradition to supply meaning to their political-theological project. This is a fascinating argument that expands our critical understanding of the ideological foundations of the Jewish national movement.” — Eran Kaplan, author of Beyond Post-Zionism

Yaacov Yadgar is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and the author of Secularism and Religion in Jewish-Israeli Politics: Traditionists and Modernity.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Jewish Sovereignty?

Part I: Religion, Judaism, Tradition

1. Religion – The History and Politics of an Ahistorical Concept

2. Are Jewish Traditions a Religion?

3. Tradition as Language and Narrative

Part II: Zionism and Jewish Traditions   

4. Zionism, Jewish ‘Religion,’ and Secularism

5. Zionism and Jewish Traditions

6. Main Zionist Streams and Jewish Traditions

Part III: The Israeli Nation-State and Jewish Traditions

7. Israeliness vs. Jewishness: National Identity in Israel and Jewish Traditions

8. Statist Jews: Secularity, Sovereignty, Zionism – and Judaism

9. Who Needs the Status Quo? Statist Jews and “Religious Coercion”

Notes
Bibliography


Related Subjects
4-6533-3/4-6534-0(RC/DG/AV)

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