Category Archives: Professor Gideon Aran

Gideon Aran: Research on Religious Variation

The psychology of religion has been dominated by issues of measurement. Not only have psychologists of religion long recognized the importance of good measurement and have placed a high pioity on it.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

But in the 1980s a leading specialist in the field pronounced measurement to be the current hegemonic paradigm, that is, the foremost perspective or concern of psychologists of religion (Gorsuch 1984). Continue reading

 

What Is The Meaning Of “More” Or “Less” Religious?

What is the meaning of “more” or “less” religious, or “very” religious? Is religiosity indeed a variable which may assume various quantifiable values and be compared to values of other religiosities, with the possibility of competition between them?

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

Is it possible that in addition to horizontal differentiation between types of religiosity according to various criteria (e.g. church – sect), there also exists vertical differentiation based on degree? And what happens when within one social group alternative scales of religiosity evolve? What is the purpose of or motive for distinguishing between superior and inferior levels of religiosity? Continue reading

 

Levels of Religiosity In The Ultra-Orthodox World

There is explicit discourse in the Ultra-Orthodox world regarding levels of religiosity (madregot), including informal distinctions between high, low, and intermediate degrees (benoniyyim). One’s level of religiosity is regarded throughout the Ultra-Orthodox community as intertwined with one’s professional-scholarly career.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran 

Those who excel at studying Jewish texts and take on Torah study as Continue reading

 

kashrut Certification and Ritual Slaughter

Ultra-Orthodox culture embraces elaborate, high-resolution scales of religiosity. A prominent example is the hierarchy among those institutions which issue kashrut certification, particularly when it comes to the certification of ritual slaughter.

Written By Professor Gideon Aran 

First, there exists a fundamental distinction between “regular” Continue reading

 

Ultra Orthodoxy – high degree religiosity

Adherents to this extreme group, many of its religious opponents, and, curiously enough, secular Jews as well, see in Ultra-Orthodoxy the embodiment of “high-degree religiosity,” or, “religiosity par excellence.”

Written By Gideon Aran 

The notion of being more religious, or very religious, in the eyes of the Ultra-Orthodox as well as among others, gives the former a unique and authoritative standing.

Most Orthodox Jews–of all types–accept this perception, thereby relegating themselves to a lesser religiosity, a somewhat apologetic view of their own level of observance alongside awe for that of their more religious counterparts, one that relates to the religiosity of the latter as a point of reference for which they yearn and according to which they conduct themselves.

Though criticism of the Ultra-Orthodox on a wide range of issues is not uncommon, their supremacy in the religious realm is indisputable and the admiration they receive from other Jews is undeniable. Even those labeled Modern Jews whose lives are guided by “enlightened” values are ambivalent in their feelings toward the Ultra-Orthodox.

When Modern (neo) Orthodox Jews in Israel, especially those who are regarded as maintaining a “feeble” religiosity, wish to embark on a path toward greater religious observance, they essentially are on a journey to becoming Ultra-Orthodox. This phenomenon is known as hitchazkut (strengthening).

Taken from “On Religiosity and Super-Religiosity: Measures of Radical Religion”, By Prof. Gideon Aran

 

Gideon Aran : Degrees of Religiosity

It is said that some people are religious, some are very religious, and some even more so.  This might sound ridiculous, strange or outrageous to many. Not so for various religious groups, including Orthodox, and particularly Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Written By Gideon Aran 

The Ultra-Orthodox community of Jews in Israel is regarded as representing anything from paragon to radical religiosity. This stands in contradistinction to standard religiosity, which conventional wisdom hold is moderate and civilized, related to the establishment, and mainstream.

 

While a large proportion of Israeli Orthodox is in fact located in the range of “normal” religiosity, only a minority among them are truly emancipated from a charged position towards the Ultra-Orthodox (and the secular). According to idiomatic diagnosis, local Jews are either chazir trefe or meshuge frum.

Translated from Yiddish, they are either abhorred piggish filth eaters (as far as you can go in the violation of kashrut), or, in contrast, crazy punctilious ritualizers. Some mainstream religious Israelis are frustrated by the polar alternatives conceived as abomination and madness. A genuine solid conception of ideal religiosity as a matter of middle way is much less prevalent than could be expected.

Taken from “On Religiosity and Super-Religiosity: Measures of Radical Religion”, By Prof. Gideon Aran