Next Article in Journal
‘Examining Religion’ through Generations of Jain Audiences: The Circulation of the Dharmaparīkṣā
Next Article in Special Issue
Religious Education and Sacred Study in the Teachings of Rabbi Yitshak Hutner
Previous Article in Journal
Shamanic Sports: Buryat Wrestling, Archery, and Horse Racing
Open AccessArticle

The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner

1
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
2
Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Religions 2019, 10(5), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050307
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 7 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jewish Religious Teaching and Learning)
  |  
PDF [243 KB, uploaded 7 May 2019]

Abstract

This article examines the role of vulnerability in personal religious transformation. It offers several “working” definitions of the terms and also mines the use of the term through the portrait of three adult Jewish learners who each experienced vulnerability as a result of Jewish text study for different reasons. This sense of vulnerability was either itself a religious experience characterized as a mixture of humility, gratitude, and belonging or catalyzed enhanced study that led to a greater sense of knowledge of and participation within a religious community. Vulnerability is understood by one learner as the insecurity of ignorance, which inspired her to take agency for her learning and compensate for pre-existing gaps. For the second, vulnerability is less about ignorance or openness in an act of study, but the insecurity of the performative aspects of Judaism in the shared space of community. This prompted him to learn more to overcome these uncomfortable feelings. For another, vulnerability represents an existential state of humanity that connects all people. Vulnerability for her is a positive state of openness; she seeks out Jewish experiences of study and prayer where she can exhibit her vulnerability in the presence of others equally willing to share their own moments of joy, doubt, humility, and failure. In each instance, vulnerability created a paradoxical motivation to study—the discomfort of not fitting in or knowing enough that, in turn, gave rise to feelings of enhanced religiosity induced by the study experience. To that end, the paper also explores vulnerability as a generative aspect of transformative learning that leads to enhanced spiritual states. View Full-Text
Keywords: adult learner; vulnerability; religiosity; spirituality; faith; study; insecurity; transformative learning adult learner; vulnerability; religiosity; spirituality; faith; study; insecurity; transformative learning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Brown, E. The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner. Religions 2019, 10, 307.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top