The subject of Jewish identity is one of the most vexed and contested issues of modern religious and ethnic group history. This interdisciplinary collection draws on work in law, anthropology, history, sociology, literature and popular culture to ...
consider contemporary and historical responses to the question: "Who and what is Jewish?" These essays explore who creates definitions of jewishness, how they do this, and in what social and political contexts. The ten leading authorities writing here also look at the forces - ranging from new genetic and reproductive technologies to increasingly multicultural societies - that push against established boundaries. The authors examine how Jews have imagined themselves and how definitions of Jewishness have been established, enforced, challenged and transformed. What makes Boundaries of Jewish Identity distinctive is its attention to the various Jewish "epistemologies" or ways of knowing who counts as a Jew. This book speaks to readers concerned with Jewish life and culture and to audiences interested in other religious, cultural, and ethnic groups. It provides an excellent opportunity to examine how Jews fit into an increasingly diverse America and an increasingly complicated global society.