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Rhinestones, Religion, and the RepublicFashioning Jewishness in France$
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Kimberly A. Arkin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786003

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786003.001.0001

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Religion to Race

Religion to Race

(p.134) Four Religion to Race
Rhinestones, Religion, and the Republic

Kimberly A. Arkin

Stanford University Press

Does the religious education provided in day schools contribute to Sephardi youth’s sense of incommensurability with Frenchness? Contrary to contemporary French presumptions about the inextricable link between illiberal religions and atavism, this chapter argues that it was the secular assumptions about personhood and identity that day school students brought with them into religion classes that shaped what they heard and, more importantly, how they understood religious lessons about the content and meaning of Jewish identity. In the process, day school students transformed religious modes of identity construction rooted in the work of following God’s law (“becoming”) into a set of fixed, primordially given identity traits (“being”).

Keywords:   liberalism, Judaism, religious education, racialization

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