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About the Author

Salo W. Baron, who was once a rabbi, educator, and editor, used to be esteemed as a Jewish historian. A prolific author, Baron used to be most sensible identified for his eighteen-volume paintings A Social and spiritual historical past of the Jews. He used to be ordained a rabbi in 1920 and bought doctoral levels in philosophy, political technology, and legislations from the college of Vienna. He later served as a professor of Jewish historical past and literature at Columbia college for thirty-three years. As a student, Baron is credited with broadening and modernizing the old view of the Jewish adventure. moreover, he supplied testimony for the prosecution on the trial of Nazi legit Adolf Eichmann. Baron additionally edited Jewish Social stories and the sequence "A Documentary background of yank Jews. "

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Additional info for Identity and the Sacred: Sketch for a New Social Scientific Theory of Religion

Example text

And as will be discussed in Chapter XII, they are better able to provide a buffer between the amorphousness of the larger social whole and the anomie of self-orientations. As a basic concept in the sociology of religion, secularization seems to be rather useless, but when it is related to a larger frame of reference the concrete phenomena it appears to cover do become meaningful. Certainly, the differentiation/ identity dialectic accounts for both the decreasing dominance of religious institutions in the mO,d em West, and for a simultaneous vitality precisely of those religious forms which demand single-hearted and single-minded commitment.

Generally, marginality is regarded as an undesirable state of affairs. Being treated as an alien or refusing to adopt the ways of a new country has an adverse effect on the sense of belonging (Stonequist, 1937) and is an important reason why minorities have higher than average rates of mental problems (Malzberg and Lee, 1956). Marginality has often been regarded as a liability for the creation of a stable society or the establishment of a religion, but as an asset for, and even as the source of, innovation, rationality, objectivity, efficiency, and individualism.

30) says that settlers tended to come from the least stable elements of the New England rural society where they had resented heavy social control. In their new environment these settlers stood for rugged individualism. In an extensive Dutch survey migrants were shown to differ from non-migrants primarily in having weaker communal ties and in participating less in social affairs (Frijda, 1960, pp. 88-91). Like the settlers on the American frontier, they were both more marginal and more independent.

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