About the Award: Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects, of up to two years, proposed by individuals or teams.

Title: Troubling Orthopraxies: A Study of Jewish Divorce in Canada

Research: Jewish divorce in Canada operates at the intersections of Jewish law, Canadian civil law, Jewish life, and the gendered experiences of women in each of these contexts. In Jewish law, one must secure a religious divorce (a get) to end a marriage. This process requires the consent of the male party, opening the process to “get abuse”, or the withholding of a get. Moreover, Jewish divorce processes are “legal” processes, undertaken by religious tribunals, so standard legal theories have been applied to them. These two systems are inherently entangled as different persons negotiate both systems.

This project is multidisciplinary in its formulation and central research question. In collaboration with my research partner, Deidre Butler, Associate Professor, Religion, FASS, we arrive at an original theoretical construct we term “troubling orthopraxies”, which substantively engages the civil, Jewish legal, and customary variables we have identified as core to our research.

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