An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations (Introduction by Edward Kessler

By Edward Kessler

Family among Christians and Jews during the last thousand years were characterized to a superb volume via mutual mistrust and by means of Christian discrimination and violence opposed to Jews. In contemporary a long time, despite the fact that, a brand new spirit of debate has been rising, starting with an awakening between Christians of the Jewish origins of Christianity, and inspiring students of either traditions to interact. An creation to Jewish-Christian family sheds clean gentle in this ongoing interfaith come across, exploring key writings and subject matters in Jewish-Christian heritage, from the Jewish context of the recent testomony to significant occasions of recent occasions, together with the increase of ecumenism, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the production of the nation of Israel. This available theological and historic learn additionally touches on a number of comparable components akin to Jewish and interfaith experiences, philosophy, sociology, cultural reviews, diplomacy and the political sciences.

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Ruether suggested that, when Jews refused to accept the Christian teachings regarding Christ, Christians felt obliged to undermine their opponents’ views. This was achieved by anti-Jewish Christian teaching and supersessionist polemic. One of the most influential post-war New Testament scholars is Ed Parish Sanders, whose work is informed by a study of early Judaism in its own right, not just as ‘background’ to the story of Christian origins. He placed the Christian–Jewish debate at the heart of academic biblical study.

In his studies of Paul, Stendahl maintains that the apostle’s chief concern was not introspective and individualistic but historical and communal, that is, the question of how, while the Jews remain within the Abrahamic covenant, Gentiles also can be adopted into it; ‘justification by faith’ means that this can be done without strict Torah observance. Stendahl argues that Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus was less a ‘conversion’ than a ‘call’. As a result of these and other New Testament studies, scholarship now tends to describe the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in terms of siblings (the metaphor of elder and younger brothers being the most common) rather than in terms of a father (Judaism)–daughter (Christianity) relationship.

By God’ was a significant turning point for the Roman Catholic Church and has been further amplified and developed by later pontifical documents. When Pope John Paul II (–) led the Vatican to recognise the state of Israel in , he overturned centuries of teaching that tied Jewish eviction from their land to their sinful rejection of Christ. Yet at the same time the Church, as representative of God and Christ on earth, is not seen as guilty of any error or wrong. This continues to be a cause of tension when antisemitism and the Holocaust are subjects of discussion, exemplified by contemporary controversies over the role of the wartime Pope, Pius XII (–).

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