Journal Article

Gender Regulation as a Source of Religious Schism

Phil Zuckerman

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 58, issue 4, pages 353-373
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3711921
Gender Regulation as a Source of Religious Schism

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This paper adds to the growing body of literature concerned with the connection between gender issues and religious conflict by reporting a case of religious schism in which issues surrounding gender regulation were at the center of the struggle. For decades there had only been one synagogue in Northweston, Washington. However, in the early 1990s, this congregation experienced in-fighting and a complete schismatic rift, largely over issues involving women's role and status within the synagogue. Based upon data collected through participant observation and in-depth interviews with 29 informants, this paper explores the importance gender regulation plays in contemporary religious life, and describes the potential for controversy and division when issues of gender regulation are faced by American Jewish communities.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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