Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Judaism in Transition

Carmel Chiswick is a research professor of economics at George Washington University. She is also a Jew, and in her most recent book, Judaism in Transition: How Economic Choices Shape Religious Tradition, she examines contemporary Judaism using the tools of economics. For example, she looks at how American Jews shift investments in the time and costs they invest in their religion, leading to new forms of observance, such as Reconstructionism, which has gained purchase because it provides timesaving alternatives for religious expression. She also draws a distinction between what she calls the “Great Tradition,” which is based on sacred scripture and major observances and thus less susceptible to change, and the “small tradition,” which is more open to embracing religious innovation.
Chiswick was recently featured on Research on Religion, a weekly podcast that explores the scientific study of religion ("Carmel Chiswick on the Economics of Being Jewish in America"). Here is a brief summary of the podcast:
How does an economist discuss being a religious minority in America? Prof. Carmel Chiswick returns to the podcast to discuss her new book “Judaism in Transition.” Using the tools of economics — particularly the concepts of full price, time costs, and human capital — explains the challenges American Jews face in a Christian culture and how Judaism has changed over time to reflect responses to various costs and benefits. We also talk about some of the newer demographic challenges facing Jews, including intermarriage, later marriage, and empty nesters.
You can download Research on Religion podcasts free from iTunes, or you can listen to the podcast at the Research on Religion website ("Carmel Chiswick on the Economics of Being Jewish in America").

No comments:

Post a Comment