The question of who is a member of a particular religion and who is not can often be difficult to decide

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The question of who is a member of a particular religion and who is not can often be difficult to decide. Does the individual get to decide or does the community decide or does some hierarchy within the religion decide? If there are groups or factions within a religion, how do they view each other and do they recognize each other as having equal claims to be practicing the religion from which they come? The case of Judaism has elements of all this and more.

Judaism is both a religious belief and practice as well as a biological heritage since Jews understand themselves to be the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Which one of these is more important? For example, would someone who is an atheist but has Jewish parents be considered a Jew?

Choose at least two of the following sources (and give citations to them in your answer), and then write 2-3 pages summarizing what you have found out. What is your viewpoint is the most promising way to determine who is a Jew in today’s world?


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