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Friends on the Way

Jesuits Encounter Contemporary Judaism

Thomas Michel

Publication Year: 2007

The largest order of religious in the Roman Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus has been at the forefront of the Church's efforts at dialogue across religions.Understanding and improving relations between the Church and the Jewish people has been a major focus of the Holy See and the Society of Jesus for many years. This book, the fruit of a major conference on the history,nature, and dynamics of relations between Jesuits and contemporary Jewish life, brings together a rich, wide-ranging selection of essays by Jesuit scholars and pastoral leaders, a leading Jewish studies scholar,and a leading rabbi. Drawing on a variety of approaches in historical and constructive theology, literary criticism, and spirituality, the contributors explore historical, philosophical, theological, cultural, and institutional themes-from Ignatian perspectives on Halakhic spirituality and the role played in Jesuit history by Jews forced to convert to Christianity to Jesuit perspectives on Hannah Arendt, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Harold Bloom.

Published by: Fordham University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

The papers in this volume were delivered at the Third International Colloquium of Jesuits in Jewish-Christian dialogue, which was held at Bad Schönbrunn in Zug, Switzerland, from July 18 to 23, 2005. This was the third colloquium in a series of meetings of Jesuits involved in dialogue with Jews. The first seminar was held in Krakow, ...

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pp. 1-7

This remarkable statement from the 1995 Jesuit meeting in Rome represents, in my view, the true spirit of the Second Vatican Council and of the magnificent document Nostra Aetate, ‘‘The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,’’ which states that ‘‘The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in ...

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From Windfall to Fall: The Conversos in the Society of Jesus

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pp. 8-27

Over the past two decades, historians have studied Ignatius Loyola’s relations with the Jews.1 Their studies have demonstrated that Loyola was so favorably disposed toward them that he wished he had been Jewish so that he would have had the honor of being from the same race as Jesus and the Virgin Mary.2 Such sentiments reveal how much ...

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Reflections on the Dialogue between Jew and Non-Jew in the Bible and in Rabbinic Literature

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pp. 28-37

Dialogue between God and man and between man and man is a foundational element of the Tanach (Jewish Bible). It derives in the first instance from the relationship of the deity to humankind as such, and later, specifically to the Children of Israel. This relationship is expressed not only by means of verbal revelation, which is directed ...

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The Goal of the Ignatian Exercises and Soloveitchik’ s Halakhic Spirituality

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pp. 38-56

Christians are perhaps familiar with the life and spiritual thinking of Ignatius of Loyola, but only a few know Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik, the spiritual mentor of so-called modern Jewish Orthodoxy in the United States. Soloveitchik was born in Lithuania in 1903 and died in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1993. His biography reflects the intellectual ...

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An Ignatian Perspective on Contemporary Jewish Spirituality

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pp. 57-70

On March 31, 1963, a crucial meeting was held in New York City. It was chaired by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Among those present were Augustin Cardinal Bea, head of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, his assistant, Monsignor (later Cardinal) Jan Willebrands, and a number of key Jewish scholars in the United States. ...

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The Jewish Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel as a Challenge for Catholic Theology

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pp. 71-82

I belong to the increasing group of Christians for whom Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s life and thought have become a vivid light and an example for religious experience and social engagement. To read his writing is like coming back to the common Jewish and Christian heritage; to read Heschel means to allow his thoughts to penetrate the ...

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The Genius and the Wisdom of Harold Bloom

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pp. 83-110

By way of introduction to this subject, to this contemporary Jewish thinker and his relevance for us, I ask you to write the name of one of the best novels or poems you have ever read on the paper that I will distribute to you. Another way of finding the best may be to ask you to search for the strongest experience you have had in such reading, ...

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From Midrash to Rashi to Contemporary Narrative Exegesis (R. Alter, M. Sternberg, et al. ): Continuity in Jewish Biblical Reading

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pp. 111-127

In 1968 an article was published in the Israeli periodical Ha-Sifrut by two young scholars from Tel Aviv University, Menakhem Perry and Meir Sternberg, which stirred up a hornet’s nest of protest and nevertheless engaged biblical exegesis in a new chapter of its history.2 The article’s title is ‘‘The King through Ironic Eyes: Biblical Narrative and ...

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Inscribe the New in the Old: Inner-Biblical Exegesis (M. Fishbane) and the Hermeneutics of Innovation (B. Levinson)

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pp. 128-141

Modern exegesis is the place of a paradox of measure: it works on a text that was produced in every detail within a particular tradition— the tradition of the Jewish people—and it applies procedures and models that have been developed in other intellectual traditions, whether that developed in Protestant Germany in the nineteenth century, ...

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A Catholic Conversation with Hannah Arendt

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pp. 142-165

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) would seem a less-than-ideal candidate for a contribution to a conference with our theme. Her biting critique of Christianity was braided with controversial analyses of modern Jewish thought and the State of Israel’s twentieth-century practice. Indeed, was not her philosophy both a shrill lament over the ultimate ...

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What Might Israelis and Jews Learn about Christians and Christianity at Yad Vashem?

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pp. 166-178

Why am I giving a talk on the presentation of Christians and Christianity in the new Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem at a congress that is devoted to the theme of the relevance of modern Jewish thought for Jewish-Christian relations? My presentation here is an attempt to read Yad Vashem as a contemporary Jewish ‘‘text’’ that is saying ...

About the Contributors

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pp. 179-182


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pp. 183-222


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pp. 223-230

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247905
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823228119
Print-ISBN-10: 0823228118

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Catholic Church -- Relations -- Judaism -- Congresses.
  • Judaism -- Relations -- Catholic Church -- Congresses.
  • Jesuits -- Congresses.
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