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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The social-scientific study of Judaism is a modern phenomenon just as are the social sciences themselves. Several themes run through various efforts to study Jews and Judaism in social-scientific terms. First is the need to understand the socio-political and ideological backgrounds to making Jews the object of scientific study. Another question is whether the impetus to a study of the Jews comes from a particular interest in their situation and development. Related to both of these issues is the question whether those undertaking the research are Jews or Gentiles. Another significant dividing line is the sociology of modern communities in the diaspora in contrast to the sociology of Israeli society that took shape at the time the state was established. A related topic that is worth tracing is the degree to which historians or other scholars of Jews and Judaism have adopted social-scientific modes of thought into their writings.

Keywords: Jewish sociology, Judaism, sociological theory, Jewish history, Gentiles

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