Many scholars of the modern Jewish identity focus on the ways in which the past two centuries have resulted in the loss of Jewishness: through "assimilation," intermarriage, conversion to other faiths, genocide (in the Holocaust), and decline in religious observance. In this work, author Frederick S. Roden presents a decidedly different perspective: that the changes in Judaism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in a malleable, welcoming, and expanded Jewish identity—one that has benefited from intermarriage and converts to Judaism.
The book examines key issues in the modern definition of Jewish identity: who is and is not considered a Jew, and why; issues of Jewish "authenticity"; and the recent history of the debate. Attention is paid to the experiences of individuals who came to Judaism from outside the tradition: through marrying into Jewish families and/or choosing Judaism as a religion. In his consideration of the tragedy of the Holocaust, the author examines how a totalitarian regime's racial policing of Jewish identity served to awaken a connection with and reconfiguration of what that Jewish identity meant for those who retrospectively realized their Jewishness in the postwar era.
ABC-CLIO; February 2016
- ISBN 9781440837753
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: Recovering Jewishness: Modern Identities Reclaimed
- Author: Frederick Roden
In The Press
"Roden writes clearly, explaining the literature and offering erudite commentary that will prompt readers to delve into the primary sources. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries." - Choice
About The Author
Frederick S. Roden, PhD, is associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut.