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Attitudes of Jews in Oxford to other monotheistic religions and interfaith engagement

Attitudes of Jews in Oxford to other monotheistic religions and interfaith engagement
Attitudes of Jews in Oxford to other monotheistic religions and interfaith engagement
This study provides an analysis of the attitudes of a minority faith in the UK, the Jews, to interfaith engagement, to the Council of Christians and Jews and other monotheistic religions. It is based on oral testimonies of interviewees who were all members of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, a unique community which has three Jewish groupings of Orthodox, Masorti and Liberal all under one roof. The objectives are to determine the influence of upbringing and life experiences on resultant interfaith attitudes, and link these with the religious denomination of the respondents. Thereafter these attitudes are considered in relation to Israel; to membership of the Council of Christian and Jews; to the attitudes of Jews entering into the sacred space of the ‘Other’ in situations of increasing intensity. Finally this thesis explores attitudes of Jews welcoming non-Jews to attending services in synagogues.

The thesis firstly highlights that the participants’ attitudes towards those of other religions were dependent upon upbringing, background and life experiences, irrespective of whether these resultant attitudes were positive, ambivalent or negative. Secondly, the most significant result found was that all the respondents were involved in dialogue with the Other irrespective of whether they had positive, ambivalent or negative attitudes towards interfaith and despite which Jewish denomination they belonged to. Thirdly, with regard to Israel, each had their own view and opinion which was not dependent on religious affiliation. Fourthly, with regard to the space of the Other, there is more complexity from whether the respondents would enter a church, attend, then participate in an interfaith service held in a church, and finally if they would take part in a service in a church involving a friend or colleague. The responses were divided by the Jewish grouping of the interviewees and demonstrated a new paradigm. There were personal interfaith boundaries beyond which responders would not pass. There was no correlation between background or religious affiliation, revealing an underlying level of unpredictability within the interviewees. Fifthly, this study demonstrated that half of the Orthodox responders were engaged in interfaith activity. Anecdotally, without previous evidence, it has been assumed that Orthodox Jews were less likely to engage in interfaith work. Within this research this was not the case.
Fidler, Wendy
45f9f691-c8f6-4b39-a6ec-ef024e0b7ac0
Fidler, Wendy
45f9f691-c8f6-4b39-a6ec-ef024e0b7ac0
Kushner, Antony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b

Fidler, Wendy (2016) Attitudes of Jews in Oxford to other monotheistic religions and interfaith engagement. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 340pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This study provides an analysis of the attitudes of a minority faith in the UK, the Jews, to interfaith engagement, to the Council of Christians and Jews and other monotheistic religions. It is based on oral testimonies of interviewees who were all members of the Oxford Jewish Congregation, a unique community which has three Jewish groupings of Orthodox, Masorti and Liberal all under one roof. The objectives are to determine the influence of upbringing and life experiences on resultant interfaith attitudes, and link these with the religious denomination of the respondents. Thereafter these attitudes are considered in relation to Israel; to membership of the Council of Christian and Jews; to the attitudes of Jews entering into the sacred space of the ‘Other’ in situations of increasing intensity. Finally this thesis explores attitudes of Jews welcoming non-Jews to attending services in synagogues.

The thesis firstly highlights that the participants’ attitudes towards those of other religions were dependent upon upbringing, background and life experiences, irrespective of whether these resultant attitudes were positive, ambivalent or negative. Secondly, the most significant result found was that all the respondents were involved in dialogue with the Other irrespective of whether they had positive, ambivalent or negative attitudes towards interfaith and despite which Jewish denomination they belonged to. Thirdly, with regard to Israel, each had their own view and opinion which was not dependent on religious affiliation. Fourthly, with regard to the space of the Other, there is more complexity from whether the respondents would enter a church, attend, then participate in an interfaith service held in a church, and finally if they would take part in a service in a church involving a friend or colleague. The responses were divided by the Jewish grouping of the interviewees and demonstrated a new paradigm. There were personal interfaith boundaries beyond which responders would not pass. There was no correlation between background or religious affiliation, revealing an underlying level of unpredictability within the interviewees. Fifthly, this study demonstrated that half of the Orthodox responders were engaged in interfaith activity. Anecdotally, without previous evidence, it has been assumed that Orthodox Jews were less likely to engage in interfaith work. Within this research this was not the case.

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Published date: July 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, History

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Local EPrints ID: 399462
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399462
PURE UUID: d34c4bc6-6522-4b2f-a944-46c813787000

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Date deposited: 18 Aug 2016 12:29
Last modified: 31 Jul 2019 04:01

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