HARVEY E. GOLDBERG
Judaism is perhaps the most global of religious traditions, since for most of its history it has existed in myriad diaspora communities throughout the Middle East, Europe, and eventually the Americas and elsewhere. There are currently some 13 million Jews in the world: the largest number, almost 5 million, are in North America; about 5 million live in Israel, 3 million in Europe, 0.5 million in Latin America, and the remainder in Asia, Australia, Africa, and elsewhere in the Middle East. The global diversity of Jewish residency has therefore created challenges for those who have attempted to study Jewish society as a whole.
A broad view of Jewish life throughout the globe was implicit in the new “science of Judaism” formulated early in the nineteenth century, but the systematic and mature application of sociological thought to the historical study of Judaism around the world emerged only slowly. In his programmatic essay of 1818 outlining the nascent science of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums), Leopold Zunz (1794–1886) included statistical studies, but the major in
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Publication information: Book title: Global Religions: An Introduction. Contributors: Mark Juergensmeyer - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 40.
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