Different Conceptions of the Continuum between Pluralism and Deviance Jeffrey Spitzer, inspired by the work of Donniel Hartman

The different positions on this chart are not about difference in practice; they are about the postures that people adopt towards different kinds of difference in practice. A person will not necessarily respond to different kinds of differences in the same way; i.e., some people may pluralistically value some different versions of the text of the liturgy, while only tolerating other changes and considering deviant different conceptions of minyan.

I [A] Pluralism
I may or may not consider modifying my own behavior towards yours for the sake of community or because your position is compelling

II Both are equally correct, like the positive and negative square roots of 1

III We don’t have enough information, ever, to be sure which is correct, so I can’t exclude the possibility that you are right You may have basis for what you are doing, but it is wrong for you to act differently

I celebrate the difference as a reflection of the complexity of God’s Creation/ Revelation.

[B] Acceptance
I am eager to move you towards my position, although for the sake of community, I will make space for you

I acknowledge that you may be right but I would prefer it if everyone were doing the same thing I think you are wrong, but I won’t do anything about it in our shared public space You are wrong, and I will speak against it among my own, but I won’t act against it I will act against what you are doing

You may be right technically, but it would be better if you went beyond that to what is really a better option I think you are wrong, but I can’t do anything about it in our shared public space You are wrong, and I will speak against it publicly, but I won’t act against it

[C] Tolerance
I think you are too far from me to have any influence on you or vice versa

I think you are wrong, but I don’t think your actions will affect anyone I care about You are wrong, and I will speak against you publicly, but I won’t act against you I will exclude you from my community

[D] Tolerable Deviance
Your behavior is beyond the pale, and I'm concerned that you may influence my community

[E] Intolerable Deviance
I am alarmed by your behavior

Your action indicates that you are not part of my community

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful