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The Challenges of Universalizing Religions: The Kabbalah Centre in France and Britain

Véronique Altglas
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
Vol. 15, No. 1 (August 2011), pp. 22-43
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2011.15.1.22
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2011.15.1.22
Page Count: 22
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The Challenges of Universalizing Religions: The Kabbalah Centre in France and Britain
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Abstract

The Kabbalah Centre is an offshoot of Judaism, which since the 1990s, has spread kabbalistic teaching in several countries to a religiously diverse audience. This article compares two European branches of the Kabbalah Centre: the flourishing London Centre, and the Parisian Centre that declined in the late 1990s before closing its doors in 2005. It emphasizes, in particular, the responses they stirred from the media, anticult movements, Orthodox Judaism, and the Jewish population generally. Ultimately, these case studies allow us to observe the trajectory of a global religion torn between its Jewish roots and universalistic ambitions.

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