15 May 2008

Katie Light Visits for Q & A on Her Master's Thesis

Katie Light was here today during lunchtime to field any questions and to discuss her recently finished masters thesis at Brandeis University, entitled "Inside Out, Outside In: Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s Open Orthodoxy Transmitted, Absorbed, and Applied."
In her thesis, she wrote that she
studied Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School because I felt that it needed to be done for to enhance the field of sociology of religion and for the sake of the American Jewish community. I felt an obligation as a student of social science to use my entrée and innate interest to conduct this research. (p. 2)
In her visit, she said that it's especially true that the academic community does not understand what's going on here. She also said that people should know what's going on here because it is impressive. Also, no previous research has been done on YCT, she said.
She wrote that she
studied YCT through the lens of sociology of religion, combining, in particular, Robert Wuthnow’s concept of public religion with Erving Goffman’s theories on front and back stages (explained in the theory section.) The general field and the theories provided a framework through which to understand the people in the yeshiva, their education, and how the two work in tandem to first develop in private and then apply in public YCT’s guiding philosophy of Open Orthodoxy. Theories of clergy education explicated by Charles Foster and his colleagues shed light on the processes of teaching and learning in theological seminaries. (p. 1)

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