After a Critique of Secularism
Excess and the Reliquary Logic of American Jewish Holocaust Commemoration
Keywords:secularism, American Jews, Holocaust, relics
Turning to the immanent space of contemporary Jewish life, this essay considers what happens after the critique of secularism to explore Holocaust commemoration in contemporary Jewish life. It argues that part of what the critique of secularism opens up are new ways of exploring these Jewish practices. Without the constraints of secularization’s clear definitions of what is either secular or religious, this essay shows how we can begin to make different connections. Appreciating what scholar of American religion Sally Promey has described as sensational religious practices, this essay explores a set of religiously inflected practices that challenge these norms, practices often made invisible by an abiding set of Protestant secular norms that read embodied, sensational practices as atavistic and objectionable.
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