Religious and Communal Life

Robert Liberles

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


This chapter shows that during the 17th and 18th centuries, a number of changes influenced the religious lives of Jews and Christians alike. The Reformation enhanced the sense of individuality, and the printing press made knowledge more accessible. Historians who see Judaism either remaining static or moving uniformly toward the surrounding society fail to discern the complexities and inconsistencies that emerged within German Jewry. Although critics complained repeatedly that synagogue services revealed an atmosphere of religious indifference, enhanced notions of piety influenced both public and private dimensions of religious life. Some individuals - especially women - found new outlets to express their spirituality through personal prayer for themselves and their loved ones. By 1780, the meaning of being an observant Jew was not the same as it had been a century earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199871346
ISBN (Print)9780195171648
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • German jews
  • Religious life
  • Synagogues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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