Several SE/SO questions (e.g., this) address what is often claimed to be (often correctly) confusion between ethnicity and religion. Certainly (IIUC, ICBW) most modern religions tend to be avowedly (pun intended :-) cognitive: they require acceptance of a body of beliefs and practices, but not (explicitly) a genetic link to coreligionists. However there are just as certainly religions (especially older ones) which traditionally explicitly assumed heritability, most notably Judaism, which traditionally considered Jewishness matrilineal and discouraged conversion.

Hence I'd appreciate pointers to any work that has been done on this topic: what religions explicitly claim heritability? Are there any lists or taxonomies regarding the intersection of religion and ethnicity?

(Apologies if this is not the optimal Stack Exchange for this question: I note that there are several separate SEs for individual religions, but none for religion or religiousity in the aggregate.)

closed as off-topic by DJClayworth, Oddthinking Sep 18 '15 at 17:01

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Skeptics Stack Exchange is for challenging unreferenced notable claims, pseudoscience and biased results. This question might not challenge a claim, or the claim identified might not be notable." – DJClayworth, Oddthinking
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  • I'm afraid this isn't really on topic here. I agree that there isn't a site that's well suited to this question, but unfortunately we don't guarantee that every question is on topic somewhere. – DJClayworth Sep 18 '15 at 16:58
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    Welcome to Skeptics! According to the FAQ, Skeptics.SE is for researching the evidence behind the claims you hear or read. This question doesn't appear to have any doubtful claims to investigate. Please edit it to reference a notable claim and flag for moderator attention to re-open (or get 5 re-open votes). – Oddthinking Sep 18 '15 at 17:01
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    I don't know if it's exactly correct to characterize Judaism as a "heritable religion" (at least no more so than any other religion--it's hardly unusual for a religion to discourage conversion). It's Jewish ethnicity, more or less, that is considered heritable, and the state of having Jewish ethnicity is considered religiously significant (and permanent) in Judaism. A person can be both ethnically Jewish and at the same time an atheist. And there is no absolute requirement of a genetic link; it is possible to convert to Judaism. – sumelic Sep 20 '15 at 7:49

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