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Religion and Toys: Religion in American History Blog Post


Why is it that Christian Fundamentalists have had better kitsch than Charedi Jews? Will this always be the case? To answer this question, I turn to one segment of American kitsch industry, the religious toy. Childhood in general and toys in particular can enhance our understanding of what is "American" about in American religion. In a recent post on gender, the family, and modern evangelicalism, Randall Stephens noted, "the story of Christianity in America has often centered on childhood as well as parenting and the family." In this post I look at recent Charedi engagements with the toy industry and consider how concerns about the relationship between American life and religion are played out in the world of toys. In addressing the intersection of religion and toys, I return to a question raised by Randall Stephens, but in slightly modified form: What does the study of family life, parenting, and children add to our understanding of American Religion? Read More...

Photo: Mitzvah Kinder by Amudart

#materialreligion #gender #children #toys #religioninamericanhistory #jewishstudies

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