美国人类学家2013-09-05 2:56 AM

Nonliberal Jewish Women's Audiocassette Lectures in Brooklyn: A Crisis of Faith and the Morality of Media

In this article, I examine a crisis of faith among nonliberal Jews in Brooklyn that was blamed on the Internet. The ensuing moral panic led many in the community to attend to affect as an indexical sign of gendered faith. Here I analyze inspirational lectures for and by middle-aged nonliberal Jewish women designed to strengthen faith. Lectures syncretically drew on Hebrew texts and the language of the therapeutic framework, engaging with secular liberal knowledge, genres, and media. At the intersection of language use, media, and embodied practices, lectures were part of a broader effort among nonliberal Jews to tell an alternative narrative of progress—one that redefined temporality and truth to deny the authority of secular and non-Jewish modernity. Live lectures and their circulation via audiocassettes shed light on moral interpretations of changing media, dynamics between discourse and materiality, and gendered faith over time and space.

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