This thesis contributes to the emerging body of literature on African Jewry by exploring factors contributing to the emergence and endurance of the Abayudaya, a Jewish community located in eastern Uganda that converted to Judaism in 1919. Ethnography coupled with theories stemming from Globalization Studies, Anthropology of Religion, and African Studies, reveal that the Abayudaya’s conversion and continued existence is the result of a complex relationship between the community’s constructed ethnicity and globalizing forces. While aspects of globalization threaten the Abayudaya’s existence, globalization ultimately provides them the space and strategies to maintain and reinforce their ethnic identity – even if such benefits are constrained according to specific hegemonic structures.



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