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Gods in AmericaReligious Pluralism in the United States$
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Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.001.0001

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Religious Pluralism in American Judaism

Religious Pluralism in American Judaism

(p.141) Chapter 6 Religious Pluralism in American Judaism
Gods in America

Deborah Dash Moore

Oxford University Press

What makes the American experience particularly interesting for Jews involves the structure it provides for religious pluralism within Judaism together with a framework for situating Jews and their religious differences within the nation. But structural pluralism—the array of religious affiliation available to Jews in the United States—has not accompanied a broad ideological commitment to religious pluralism as either an inherent or instrumentalist good. World War II powerfully influenced Jewish religious pluralism and promoted a form of ecumenism among all Jews. In the following decades, however, debates about denominational boundaries, the degree of tolerable interaction with non-Jews (most particularly through intermarriage), the politics (religious and otherwise) of Israel, and the coming of the Messiah, along with efforts by certain segments of Orthodoxy to impose a single definition of Jewishness, led to deep differences over how to maintain religious freedom for individuals and pluralism among and perhaps even within groups.

Keywords:   Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism, Judeo-Christian tradition, anti-Semitism

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