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The Catholic Church and the Jewish People

Recent Reflections from Rome

Norbert Hofmann

Publication Year: 2007

This book makes available in English important essays that mark the fortieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate). Surveying Vatican dialogues and documents, the essays explore challenging theological questions posed by the Shoah and the Catholic recognition of the Jewish people's covenantal life with God.



Featuring essays by Vatican officials, leading rabbis, diplomats, and Catholic and Jewish scholars, the book discusses the nature of Christian-Jewish relations and the need to remember their conflicted and often tragic

history, aspects of a Christian theology of Judaism, the Catholic-Jewish dialogue since the Shoah, and the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. The book includes an essay

by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and documents on the rapprochement between the Church and the Jewish people.; "The Catholic Church and the Jewish People is an extraordinarily useful commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Vatican Council Declaration on the Jews. Outstanding authorities provide historical perspective, an account of the evolution of the document itself, and analyses of its impact on Jewish-Catholic relations both in the immediate aftermath of the Council and in the long term. An invaluable collection for academics, interfaith activists, and all Jews and Christians interested in the historic transformation in their mutual relations inaugurated by Vatican II."

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

The year 2005 was very important for dialogues between Jews and Catholics. More than forty years ago, in October 1965, the Second Vatican Council promulgated the document Nostra Aetate, dedicated to the relations between the Catholic Church and other religions, and in the fourth paragraph, specifically to the special relationship with Judaism. ...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xiv

It has been over forty years since the issuance of the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate, and over thirty years since the establishment of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. Perhaps the time has come to take stock, albeit in a provisional way, of the current relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism, the changes ...

Part 1. Reflections on the Relationship between Jews and Christians

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1. Paths Taken and Enduring Questions in Jewish-Christian Relations Today: Thirty Years of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews

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pp. 3-11

More than forty years have passed since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate and thirty years since the creation of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. I am convinced that I do not exaggerate when I say that these events mark one of the most surprising developments of the twentieth century, which changed to a great extent...

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2. Progress and Issues of the Dialogue from a Jewish Viewpoint

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pp. 12-22

The recent work of the delegations of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Commission for Relations with the Catholic Church is one of the most significant signs of the progress made in Jewish-Christian dialogue. This is not only because of the presence of official representatives on ...

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3. Jewish Perspectives on Christianity

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pp. 23-28

I would like to preface my considerations with a general observation that is also meant to be an expression of hope for the future. Jewish-Christian dialogue—despite the limits, the flaws, the disappointments, the criticisms, and the attacks that it continues to provoke—is a dynamic reality; we are not in a situation of stasis. I would also like to ..

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4. Reflections toward Jewish-Christian Dialogue

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pp. 29-38

Bruno Forte has outlined the fundamental elements of a Christian theology of Judaism that provide a positive reading of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.1 Such a theology must not succumb to extremist temptations, either of an exclusivist nature (according to which Christianity has nothing to do with Judaism and should simply ...

Part 2. The Need to Remember

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5. The Difficult Apprenticeship of Diversity

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pp. 41-53

The history of the relations between Jews and Christians in the long centuries that preceded Nostra Aetate is a history that begins with the rise of Christianity and stretches over a period of almost two thousand years. In the impossibility of tracing even a rough sketch of this history, I will merely show a few of its aspects and then concentrate chiefly on ...

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6. The Shoah as a Shadow upon and a Stimulus to Jewish-Christian Dialogue

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pp. 54-70

I do not believe that it is an exaggeration to claim that the Shoah, or Holocaust, inasmuch as it represents the climax of a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Jewish people in the West, constitutes the most painful issue and the most unsettling problem among those Jews and those Christians who are involved in a serious ...

Part 3. Toward a Christian Theology of Judaism

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7. Israel and the Church—The Two Explorers of the Promised Land: Toward a Christian Theology of Judaism

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pp. 73-91

A certain biblical passage, reread from the point of view of the Church Fathers, can help to introduce the question that concerns us: What relationship does Christian faith see between Israel and the Church? The question is indeed quite complex and could be addressed in a variety of ways: What is the reason for the significance and the continued relevance...

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8. The Covenant That Was Never Revoked: The Foundations of a Christian Theology of Judaism

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pp. 92-112

At least in the realm of Catholic and Protestant theology, an ecumenical consensus has been reached on various fundamental principles of a possible Christian understanding of Judaism.1 These fundamental propositions can be summarized as follows. . . . A. At no point in time did God revoke his covenant with Israel. Israel is ...

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9. Jewish-Christian Relations: A Conciliar Discovery and Its Methodological Consequences for Dogmatic Theology

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pp. 113-126

The struggle of the Secretariat for Christian Unity under Cardinal Bea to promulgate the declaration De Judaeis, the successful climax of which was the publication of the conciliar document Nostra Aetate, has produced extremely rich fruits. The brief and yet balanced pronouncements of the Second Vatican Council not only had a vast positive resonance ...

Part 4. The Post-Shoah Catholic-Jewish Dialogue

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10. Nostra Aetate and the Discovery of the Sacrament of Otherness

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pp. 129-151

What follows is a quick presentation of the preconciliar work that led to the declaration Nostra Aetate. This presentation is almost always indebted to the main existing historiographical literature: from the memories of John M. Oesterreicher,1 to the theological reflection of Eugene Fisher,2 and to the historical work of Giovanni Miccoli and Mauro Velati...

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11. The Creation and Work of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews

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pp. 152-158

The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews was established by Paul VI on October 22, 1974.1 One ought to remember that the creation of the Commission is in a certain sense both a point of arrival and also a starting point. It seems to me, therefore, that the present essay could be divided into three parts: (1) the precedents of the Commission ...

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12. The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee

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pp. 159-166

When, on October 22, 1974, Pope Paul VI established the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews (CRRJ), a so-called International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee (ILC)1 had already been in place for four years, having been instituted in Rome on December 23, 1970. This committee, which initially included five delegates ...

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13. A Sign of Great Hope: The Beginning of the Dialogue between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel

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pp. 167-176

The official dialogue recently established between the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is one of the latest developments in the relationship between Jews and Christians.1 In the following article, the creation, organization, implementation, and significance of this dialogue will be discussed. ...

Part 5. The New Relationship between the Holy See and the State of Israel

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14. The Vatican and Israel

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pp. 179-185

It is not easy to discuss the subject of the relationship between Israel and the Vatican. On the one hand, of course, it is an international, diplomatic relationship. On the other hand, the two parties are unique; the relationship between the two cannot be compared, for instance, to the relationship between France and Spain. We are talking of the Holy See, ...

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15. The State of Israel and the Holy See

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pp. 186-189

It is impossible to try to explain in a short time such a complex issue as the one concerning the relations between Israel and the Holy See. In this regard, I would like to tell an anecdote. An Israeli meets an American friend in Jerusalem, and in typical Israeli style—maybe acting a little too forward—he asks the American when did he arrive, when will ...

Appendices

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pp. 191-256

About the Contributors

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pp. 257-258

About the Editors

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pp. 259-260

Notes

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pp. 241-260

Index

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pp. 261-282

Index of Scriptural Passages

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pp. 269-272

Fordham University Press's Abrahamic Dialogues Series

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pp. 273-274


E-ISBN-13: 9780823247523
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823228058
Print-ISBN-10: 0823228053

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2007