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Journal Article

The Domestication of Religion: The Spiritual Guardianship of Elderly Jewish Women

S. Sered
Man
New Series, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 506-521
DOI: 10.2307/2803263
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2803263
Page Count: 16
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The Domestication of Religion: The Spiritual Guardianship of Elderly Jewish Women
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Abstract

Fieldwork conducted among elderly, Oriental Jewish women living in Jerusalem reveals a religious world centred around guarding over ancestors and descendants. The article identifies and labels the `domestication of religion' as a process in which people who profess their allegiance to a wider religious tradition personalise the rituals, institutions, symbols and theology of that wider system in order to safeguard the well-being of particular individuals with whom they are linked in relationships of care. It is argued that individuals (such as teh Oriental women) who have a great deal invested in interpersonal relationships, and who are excluded from formal power within an institutionalised religious framework, tend to be associated with a personally-oriented religious mode.

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