College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Religious Studies > Faculty > Frida Kerner Furman

Frida Kerner Furman

As a social ethicist, Frida Furman uses ethnographic methods to explore the moral life of individuals in the context of communities. Her academic interests include social, feminist, and environmental ethics; religious/cultural identity and diversity; and peace-building, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Furman's first book, Beyond Yiddishkeit: The Struggle for Jewish Identity in a Reform Synagogue (SUNY Press, 1987), investigated  contemporary Jewish identity manifested within a synagogue, in its complex engagement with American society.  Her second book, Facing the Mirror: Older Women and Beauty Shop Culture (Routledge, 1997), studied women's experiences of old age relative to cultural and gendered expectations of physical attraction, caring, and loss. Furman's latest book, Telling Our Lives: Conversations on Solidarity and Difference (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), co-authored with two other academic women, revealed through their conversations and storytelling the convergence and divergence of identities shaped along social class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Furman's most recent journal articles focus on conflict transformation and reconciliation work of grass-roots organizations, principally in the Middle East, and include “Compassionate Listening as a Path to Conflict Resolution” (Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict), “Religion and Peacebuilding: Grassroots Efforts by Israelis and Palestinians” (Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace), and "Bereavement, Storytelling, and Reconciliation: Peacebuilding Between Israelis and Palestinians" (Peace and Conflict Studies).

Research Interests
- Peace-building and Reconciliation
- Trans-formative Teaching and Learning
- Environmental Ethics

Courses Frequently Taught
- HON 104 "Religious Worlds in Comparative Perspective"
- LSP 112 "Focal Point Seminar: Forgiveness"
- PAX 252/ REL 252 "Forgiveness and Reconciliation"
- PAX 253/ REL 253 "Despair and Hope"