Yaacov Yadgar

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This essay aims at conceptualizing—and naming—a certain, rather popular, stance toward tradition, that fits neither of the polar opposites of the secularist–rationalist vs. religious–conservative dichotomy. Arguing that this stance should be viewed as a “stranger” (following Zygmunt Bauman’s conceptualization of the term) that challenges and threatens the binary constructs which are central to positivist notions of modernity, tradition, and secularism (such as the “modern vs. traditional” and “religious vs. secular” binaries), the essay highlights the ways in which this stance embodies a more nuanced understanding of the very concept of tradition. The essay does so by both studying the phenomenology of this stance (both conceptually and through the socio-historical case of its appearance in a Jewish–Israeli context), and developing a view of tradition that transcends the above-mentioned dichotomies. It also highlights the distinction between this stance and another, dominant phenomenon of professed loyalty to tradition, namely conservatism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1061734
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © 2015 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.


  • conservatism
  • modernity
  • post-secular
  • secularism
  • tradition


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