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ARC number: 17

(Technical Id number: 18)

Author(s): Biro, Tamas
Title: Is Judaism Boring? The role of symbols in “imagistic” Jewish movements in the nineteenth century
Category: lecture handout, minor stuff
Length (pages): 19
Keywords: Judaism; ritual; McCauley and Lawson's model; tedium; networks; Optimality Theory; spin glasses
Abstract: Slightly reformulating and then applying the McCauley-Lawson model to Judaism predicts that traditional Judaism is a “boring” system of rites. This is why the new streams emerging in the eighteenth and nineteenth century – Chassidism and the Yeshiva movement, as well as reform and orthodoxy – can be also viewed as attempts to reach a more balanced systems, besides their well-accepted social-historical explanations.

It will be, however, demonstrated that not in every case is a balanced system achieved through the introduction of special-agent rituals, as McCauley and Lawson propose – in fact, this solution is only typical to Chassidism. Other streams make use of different techniques, and the role of symbols will be emphasised in creating these new movements. Additionally, the role of symbols will be put into a network theoretical context in two different ways: the social network and the network of concepts and symbols.
Remarks: Power Point Presentation of the paper presented at the conference "Symbolization in Religion, Cognition and Culture" (Aarhus, 2007:
Downloadable files: ARC-17-Biro-Aarhus-2007.ppt
Submitted:29/05/2007 18:28:05    (DD / MM / YYYY)
Published:29/05/2007 19:09:36    (DD / MM / YYYY)

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