Chapter

Leon Botstein

Arthur J. Magida

in Opening the Doors of Wonder

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245457
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245457.003.0010
Leon Botstein

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Agnosticism establishes an affiliation to religion, predominantly curious in nature, and at times borders on inquisitiveness. It is this link that prevents a collapse into atheism, but the actual belief is absent in terms of its salient features. Humbling of the self to an assumed highest authority is largely absent. This chapter charts elements that sustain in a threadbare religious connection. The subject of inquiry is of Jewish descent. Most elements that characterize such kinds of affiliation are largely symbolic in nature and often practiced as parts of communal life, components of communal legacies. Modus operandi of the rituals chart the usual practices, most of which turn out to be only one-time formalities, never ever to be remembered in detail, in terms of their intricacies, reflecting the instrumental value of religion for individuals who ascribe a relative rather than absolute value to it.

Keywords: agnosticism; communal life; religious connection; atheism; communal legacies

Chapter.  3195 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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