6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Religion and the Encounter with Modernity: What Can We Learn from Jewish Urbanization?

We live in an era in which global terrorism wraps itself in theology. Religious groups that employ the language of ancient scriptures often do so using cell phones and YouTube videos. How are we to understand this seeming discrepancy? This talk uses the case of Jewish urbanization in the nineteenth century to discuss some of the ways religious leaders and communities engage with the fear and possibility presented by modernity. What are the political implications for theological and cultural nostalgia? Can we understand why some responses are more violent than others? Is there anything to be done about it?


  • Samuel Kessler

    Title VIII Short-term East European Studies Scholar
    Ph.D. Candidate, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Zdenek David

    Librarian Emeritus