Author Archives: zjb

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.

Is There a Jewish Problem in Religious Studies & at the AAR?

The place of Judaism and Jews, in their tiny little corner in the study of Religion and at the AAR has been a running question as old as the AAR itself about which a little history could be written, and … Continue reading

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(Temple Society of Concord) The Essence of Judaism is Architecture (Syracuse)

Undergraduates at Syracuse, and elsewhere I supposed, gravitate to Abraham Geiger and Reform Judaism when we pull up to the modern period in my introduction to Judaism. They like the individualistic voluntarism that they associate with liberalism and which they … Continue reading

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A word that moves me: Affect

Originally posted on affecognitive:
Our faculty colloquium this fall asked colleagues to select one word that motivates our work in religion (teaching, scholarship, or both). My word, unsurprisingly, was affect. These are my remarks: In turning to the noun, affect,…

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Affective Partisanship & Ideological Partisanship (Theories of Religion Redux)

[h/t Joshua Garoon] This op-ed by Thomas Edsall here in the NYT about the relationship between group partisanship and ideology on the other hand, which driving which, reminds me of arguments in theories of religion going back to Marx-Durkheim and Weber; … Continue reading

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Peoplehood & Power (Hertz Commentary to Numbers)

Way behind blogging the 1936 iconic Hertz commentary, here is my quick distillation of key points of interest in the Hertz commentary to the book of Numbers, which is largely uninteresting. I don’t know if this distillation is unique to … Continue reading

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Socialist Wordmills (Henri Lefebvre)

This from French Marxist Henri Lefebvre, a philosopher and theorist of social space from the 1970s, caught my eye, thinking about Democratic Socialism in America and left-progressive politics, bunched up as they are along the coasts in special enclaves, and … Continue reading

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(Antique Foodways) Idle Talk (Ecclesiastes Rabbah)

“All things toil to weariness, [a person] cannot utter it” (Eccles. 1;8). Idle talk wearies [a person]: “The partridge today is pickled with garlic.” The side of the [animal] is like lead.””Cut thin slices.” “Roasted with mustard.” “Portions which deserve … Continue reading

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