Do Denominational Labels Capture it All? How is Jewish Sociology Tackling Jewish Identity?

Do you find any difficulty in describing yourself using one of the standard Jewish denominational labels? Do you feel that the “boxes” commonly used do not capture who you are and how you think of yourself?

i star sociology

Sociology, like all “ologies,” cannot relieve us of the burden of our choices.

But it can, sometimes wonderfully, illuminate the currents that shape our choices and the directions in which those currents, and our choices, are taking us.

— Yehudah Mirsky

Is Jewish identity something that no longer can be explained by the old labels and social scientific terminology used in past generations?

Well, Yehuda Mirsky in his article on Jewish Ideas Daily seems to think so. He points to some of the more recent trends in “Jewish Sociology” (that is, sociology of contemporary Jewry) that seem to point in that direction.

He ends his article with a sober note on the limitations of sociology in understanding Jewish Identity:

References:

Mirsky, Yehudah. “Jews, Damned Jews, and Sociologists”. Jewish Ideas Daily. March 1, 2012.

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