This article draws on analysis of interviews with Jews of Ukraine and Moldova who lived the first part of their lives following traditional Jewish ways, while the latter part occurred during the period of strong anti-religious pressure in the Soviet Union. As a result, several variations of what we can call “folk Judaism” emerged. One form consists of a coerced nonobservance of the laws of Judaism and entails the elaboration of various ways to observe Jewish traditions in the absence of the ability to follow the letter of the law.
This article is devoted to issues of religion, secularity and cultural memory and the ways they are connected and determined by power relations and power structures.
This piece lays out a new conception of religion applicable to contemporary post-secular conditions. In these conditions, neither the secular model of religion, typical of modernity, nor the pre-secular understanding of religion / religiosity comports with sociocultural reality. The article emphasizes that the secular understanding of premodern religion distorts religion’s nature by allotting it a fixed and therefore limited place in line with the idea and practice of functional differentiation typical of modern European societies.