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New trends in Religious Zionist philosophy and practice

Mon, December 17, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Backbay 2 Complex

Session Submission Type: Panel Session

Abstract

This panel addresses new developments in Religious-Zionism, as rabbinic leaders and grassroots activists re-conceptualize some of the most fundamental principles of this sector. Though the thinkers and sects presented in the panel are only minor subgroups, they are challenging traditional Religious Zionism, and represent possible new directions that Religious Zionism might take in the coming future.

The spectrum of views presented in this panel are varied and colorful. However, the papers in the panel show how these distinct groups and approaches are dealing with similar major questions. This panel responds to new articulations of "Post-Zionism" as members of the Religious-Zionist demographic engage in critiques of Zionism and imagine radical alternatives to Israeli state nationalism; including biblical revival projects that are attempting to establish a theocratic Jewish kingdom in Israel. Ideas of post-modern subjectivity and the meaning of nationalism in the digital age will be discussed, as these concepts challenge and create an opportunity remaking Religious-Zionism.

Panelists will engage with the writings of influential Religious-Zionist rabbis who are shaping current debates, as well as some of the global manifestations of Religious-Zionism as it travels beyond the borders of Israel to the rest of the world, influencing new forms of religious and political life in the 21st century in the form of growing "Bnei Noah" (Children of Noah) communities.

While many of the religious thinkers presented in this panel are considered exceptional or unacceptable by the majority of mainstream Religious-Zionists, panelists will use these "ideas from the margins" to address some of the most critical questions of current Religious-Zionism, and its self-definition nowadays.

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