Conceptualizing Jewishness: Beyond the Divide of Religious vs Cultural Jew

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


This talk starts from noting the negative impacts of the dualistic conception of the religious versus the cultural/ethnic Jew/Israeli for the diasporic as well as Israeli Jewry. Drawing among others on the work of Talal Asad, Jonathan Sacks and especially Daniel Boyarin it then critically examines the origin and applicability of the concepts of “religion” and “culture”, or lack thereof, to Jewishness. Here I discuss also particular implications of framing of Jewishness primarily through the concept of religion in specifically Danish context. Inspired by in particular Amos Oz and Daniel Boyarin, the last part of the talk argues for an alternative conception of Jewishness. Besides being a historically more emic and appropriate, such alternative conception can be more productive in addressing diverse ways of being, feeling and thinking Jewish.
Event titleØresunds Limmud
Event typeConference


  • Jewishness
  • religion
  • culture