Tyson Herberger

Tyson Herberger

PhD in Teaching and Teacher Education – Judaism as a Lived Religion in Norway

Who are you? 

Tyson Herberger, 39 years old, American-Israeli, expertise in Judaism.

What are you researching?  

I am doing a PhD looking at Judaism as a Lived Religion in Norway in order to provide background for more nuance in Christianity, religion, beliefs and ethics texts (and elsewhere). Generally, when Judaism, or other religions, are studied they are looked at from a somewhat official perspective. Yet most practitioners do not live this version of their religion. So what is Judaism in Norway? If we look beyond paying members of recognized synagogues, how many Jews might be in Norway? What does it mean to be Jewish? The project has a multipronged approach, and will discuss how Judaism is covered currently in leading Norwegian textbooks, attempt to provide some statistical and theoretical background to open a discussion on increasing the estimates of how many Jews are in Norway, and explore how Norwegian Jews not normally included in those statistics construct their Jewish lives.

What's in it for society?

Not only does it open up a discussion on Jews and Judaism in Norway (as well as how these subjects are both taught in schools and addressed in bureaucracies), it also has portability to both other geographic locations and other minority groups. It fits into a growing body of research showing that minority groups are often undercounted in official statistics.

What's next after your PhD?

Ideally I would like to continue in Norwegian academia, perhaps with a post-doc first, and then with a full-time position to both teach and write.

When not researching

Reading takes up most of my spare time. When not reading for my PhD, I am often reading rabbinic literature and occasionally take the time for a bit of fantasy. Taking my daughter for hikes and other explorations is tremendous fun. And, with family on multiple continents, travel and Skype are frequently on the schedule as well.

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