American JewBu: Jews, Buddhists, and Religious Change, by EMILY SIGALOW

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In this beautifully written ethnography, Emily Sigalow takes the reader on a journey through the lives of American Jews who engage in Buddhist practice and belief. She begins with an empirical puzzle—why are American Jews attracted to Buddhist practice? How can we explain the fact that among Americans involved in Western Buddhism, one out of three has a Jewish background? This empirical puzzle serves as the springboard to a theoretical puzzle—how do people integrate elements from different religions into their lived practice and experience? What kinds of appropriations, identifications, and commitments emerge in this process? Moving back and forth between these two levels, the empirical and the theoretical, Sigalow makes a major contribution both to the study of contemporary Judaism and Buddhism, and to the growing interest in religious syncretism and hybrid religious identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-122
Number of pages3
JournalSociology of Religion
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2020
StatePublished - 2021


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