Alternative Judaism

From Academic Kids

Alternative Judaism refers to some groups of people who, while identifying as Jews in some fashion, nevertheless do not view themselves as conforming to Judaism as practiced by most Jews.

These alternative groups may have a variety of practices, but generally do not believe in the Jewish God. Instead, they have beliefs that fall outside of the traditional views of the Torah and Jewish law. These movements may be explicitly atheistic, or they may incorporate pagan elements, or other religious traditions, like belief in Buddha.

Alternative forms of "Judaism" are nothing new in Jewish history, and have appeared in the past in such forms as the Sabbateans and Frankists which fell outside the common Orthodox/Non-Orthodox (Reform/Conservative/Reconstructionist) classification of the four major streams of today's recognized Jewish denominations. These may be combinations of "Jewish culture" (see secular Jewish culture) and symbolism with non-Jewish religions and philosophies.

Among the larger alternative movements are:

  • Humanistic Judaism, an organized group that takes atheistic or agnostic approach to Judaism and which has around 50,000 members worldwide in over 60 congregations.
  • Judeo-Paganism, a loosely-organized set of Jews who incorporate pagan or Wiccan beliefs.
  • Jewish Renewal, an organized spiritualist approach to Judaism, loosely based on Kabbalah and New Age principles, with around 50 congregations worldwide.
  • Jewish Buddhists, another loosely organized group that incorporates elements of Asian spirituality in their faith.

There are also a number of non-Jewish movements that consider themselves to be "Israelites" due to a purported connection to the Lost Ten Tribes, such as the Anglo-Israelism movement. These groups are not generally made up of Jews, and, in some cases deny that the current Jews are connected to the ancient Israelites.

See also

Template:Religion-stub Template:Culture-stub

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