On the heels of the Shamayim V’Aretz Institute‘s recent publication, “The Jewish Vegan,” I am proud to announce this call for papers, together with Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, for an edited volume of scholarly and profession essays on Jewish Veganism.
As more and more Jews adopt a vegan lifestyle, we can ask if Jewish veganism (and also vegetarianism) has become a distinct phenomenon. This collection of essays, submitted by scholars, rabbis, theologians, activists, and community leaders from around the world will explore new and compelling ideas about Jewish foodways and ethics, and also how various communities and individuals have put them into practice. We will discuss what might distinguish Jewish veganism as Jewish and whether or not we may now consider it, either in thought or in practice, a coherent and self-conscious movement unto itself. We will ask how Judaism, broadly defined, inspires or compels some Jews to veganism and how that lifestyle, in turn, enriches or defines their experiences and identities as Jews. We seek also to test the boundaries of Jewish veganism and to understand more about it by considering it alongside other Jewish cultures of food and food production, such as vegetarianism, the cultivation and preservation of Jewish ethnic cuisines, and the efforts to produce kosher food in a more ethical manner, including but not limited to practices associated with slaughtering animals. Jewish veganism may be situated as well within movements to safeguard animal welfare/rights or the environment. Finally, we hope to put Jewish veganism into conversation with veganism and vegetarianism in other faith and ethnic traditions. Distinctions between the cultures of different Jewish communities and traditions are welcome.
Jewish Veganism will be a unique collection, as it will feature works of scholarship alongside what may be considered valuable primary sources, such as reflections by activists and normative statements of values, theology, and politics. It is meant to reflect the breadth of contemporary discussions about Jewish veganism and also to serve as a resource for developing them further, with an eye to interdisciplinary and cross-professional collaboration. Please note that we are seeking papers which delve into the philosophy, history, and experience of Jewish veganism, as well as its contemporary communal manifestations. Personal reflections are welcome only insofar as they help address these larger themes.
Rather than a work of advocacy (although some authors may advocate), Jewish Veganism will reflect a studied intuition that Jewish veganism may have come of age. It seeks to explore its contours and scope. We anticipate that the volume will attract a wide readership. It will speak to scholars, clergy, and laypeople interested in religious, Jewish, and food studies, animal rights and welfare, the environment, social action, and identity politics. The book’s transnational scope will also help it contribute, as well, to a growing literature on Judaism and Jewishness in a globalizing world.
With pleasure, we are soliciting proposals in either English or Hebrew of no more than 250 words by 20 December 2015. Please send your abstracts in PDF format to JewishVeganismBook@gmail.com.