Secularism & Its Discontents
Rethinking an organizing principle of modern Jewish life
The Fellows of the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies during the 2009-10 year devoted themselves to studying the complex interplay and often permeable boundary between the religious and the secular in modern Jewish history. Projects ranged from excavating the hidden theological-political motifs of self-consciously secular texts to the attempted imposition of a secular agenda by the modern centralized state on the ironically modern (and arguably secular) phenomenon of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The combined effect of the Fellows' diverse and probing research projects was to introduce a new degree of theoretical and comparative sophistication to the idea (and practice) of the secular in the Jewish experience.