Israel, between religion and secularism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Religion and religiosity play an important part in Israeli political and social life. The complex relation between Jewish religion, Jewish nationality and the (Jewish) state has led to various attempts of legislation, regulation and political compromises between religious and secular groups. Secularization and religious revival in recent years have undermined previous compromises and set in motion different conflicts. These developments expand beyond the arena of formal politics, where parties contend for influence, and where legislation and policies are crafted. Rather, economic and demographic changes have led to individual, everyday life decisions and practices that affect conflicts and compromises. The re-politicization of religious questions, with new demands and needs, could not be resolved neither in the political system, facing an ongoing governance crisis, nor in the legal system, constrained by legitimacy concerns that questioned its ability to intervene. Consequently, the political debates, and more importantly political actions, shifted to other spheres where entrepreneurial actions and individual decisions created alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on Contemporary Israel
EditorsGuy Ben-Porat, Yariv Feniger, Dani Filc, Paula Kabalo, Julia Mirsky
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2022


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