Ritual Reproduction in Jewish Communities in Germany: The Case of Circumcision
Religiosity in East and West: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges from Global and Local Perspectives
The study of Jewish religion shows that many concepts developed in view of Protestant Western contexts do not fit for empirical research on elements of the Jewish tradition and its religious understanding. Analyzing the Jewish ritual of circumcision, the concept of (individual) religiosity does not seem appropriate. Individual belief and individual religiosity are no precondition for the ritual taking place on the eighth day of a boy’s life. The here-presented study aims at reconstructing the ritual structure of circumcision with regard to the level of time in Jewish communities in Germany by using empirical data from qualitative interviews. Interestingly enough, the ritual reproduction of circumcision from generation to generation is independent both from the individual religiosity of the boy and his parents. The concept of (individual) religiosity is not effective in explaining the continuing transmission of the ritual and does not seem appropriate for research on other aspects of Judaism either. Alternatively, the concept of religious obligation and a wider understanding of transcendence connecting the individual with the Jewish community and Jewish tradition are more helpful to explain the ongoing ritual reproduction.
Circumcision / Brit Milah Interviews Main Topic: Other Jewish History Ritual Religious Observance and Practice Religious Belief
Link to article (paywalled), Ritual Reproduction in Jewish Communities in Germany: The Case of Circumcision
Ritual Reproduction in Jewish Communities in Germany: The Case of Circumcision. . 2020: 45-59. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/978-3-658-31035-6_3