Ramon Llull in his Book of the Gentile and the Three Wise Men demonstrates prevailing attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Christian-ruled Europe in the thirteenth century.
The position and relevance of organized religion is questioned in modern times, and the Catholic Church is no exception. The statements made during the historic Vatican II conference between 1962-1965 are intended to be the Church’s voice through the darkness of modern skepticism, and can be used as a guide for political action and understanding in multicultural, relativist societies. In particular, the documents Gaudium et Spes and Nostra Aetate form a basis for the treatment of outsiders and minorities, particularly in interpreting the history of the Church’s relationship with the Jewish people. Using Arendt’s concept of “rootedness” in tradition and authority, and Voegelin’s of metaxy, this paper argues that there cannot exist a virtueless, relativist civilization. The space between civic law and moral Law, the treatment of individual conscience, and of community rights within society must incorporate the analyses of Rémi Brague, the multicultural group freedoms of Charles Taylor, and the individual liberty of Alain Finkielkraut. What Vatican II calls for is most likely a democratic constitutional order, based on Western principles of the individual and society.
This research looks at young American Jews complicated relationship with the state of Israel. Previous literature has cited that the younger generation of American Jews are distancing themselves from Israel, citing research that demonstrated differences of attachment levels between Jews aged 65 and older, and Jews aged 35 or younger. For this research, 10 interviews were conducted with American Jews aged 23 or younger in order to compile qualitative data on young American Jews’ relationship to Israel. The findings emphasis three critical factors that shaped participants’ relationship with Israel: older family influence pressure, societal pressure, and the sentiment that Israel is receives unjust scrutiny from the American liberals and the American press. The thesis concludes by suggesting that participants can use current events to inform society– the media, politicians, educators, friends– that they have agency over their opinions on American Israeli politics.
This project studies the impact of discourse surrounding the Israeli occupation of Palestine on American Jewish-Muslim solidarity efforts. The author uses a Muslim-Jewish dialogue that took place between 2001 and 2014, the Muslim-Jewish Bridge Building Group (MJBBG), as a case study, conducting interviews with former participants and facilitators. The data demonstrates that the entanglement of Jewish and Muslim religious identities with the political Palestinian is an impediment to addressing the root cause of Jewish-Muslim tension in the United States. The author suggests that this problematic reframing be addressed at the beginning of American Muslim-Jewish solidarity efforts in order to dispel misplaced tension and dismantle the xenophobic project of equating Islam and Palestinians, Jews and Zionists.
Israel's ultra-orthodox population presents a puzzle for economists. This population has large families and forgoes secular education despite high rates of poverty. Lannacone (1992) pioneered the use of a club goods model to explain the behavior of such religious groups. This paper utilizes Lannacone's (1992) model of club goods in the context of Israel's ultra-orthodox, and also presents the historical and religious background of the issue.