The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner
AbstractThis 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
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Brown, E. The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner. Religions 2019, 10, 307.
Brown E. The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner. Religions. 2019; 10(5):307.Chicago/Turabian Style
Brown, Erica. 2019. "The Relationship of Vulnerability to Religiosity in the Adult Jewish Learner." Religions 10, no. 5: 307.
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