Developments in Modern Judaism

Emancipation:
Acceptance of Jews as individual citizens with equal rights in modern nation-states.
Enlightenment:
The ideology of modernizing Judaism in order to allow full participation in the general society.

Modern Jewish Religious Movements:

Reform:
Least traditional. Originally committed to defining Judaism as a theological and ethical system, without ritual or nationalist components.

Reject binding authority of tradition.

Central ideals are important, but specific implementations (e.g., ritual observances) evolve from age to age.

Tradition must be adapted to modern needs and standards.
Conservative:
Ideologically liberal but traditional in practice.

Commitment to Jewish peoplehood: Judaism is an evolving historical culture, as well as theology and ritual system. [cf. Reconstructionism.]

Bound by halakhah, but interpret it more flexibly than the Orthodox.

Pluralistic approach to Jewish law.
Orthodox:
Most traditional. Commitment to Jewish law as interpreted by tradition and Rabbinic authority.

No centralized institutional structure.

Variety of ideological types: Scholarly, mystical, Zionist and anti-Zionist, etc.

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