Has God Only One Blessing?
Judaism as a Source of Christian Self-Understanding
by Mary C. Boys. Paulist Press, New York and Mahwah, NJ, 2000
393 pp., $29.95, paper
In this magisterial book, Mary Boys distills the fruits of a generation of Christian
biblical, liturgical, and systematic theology, blends in the sharp piquancy of
Jewish-Christian dialogue, and produces a vintage worthy to savor as we welcome the new
millennium....Boys’ achievement is as remarkable as it is timely.
Eugene J. Fisher
Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs,
National Conference of Catholic Bishops
PART I: PARABLES
1. Sion"s Story
2. Tales of Two Texts
3. Synagoga and Ecclesia
PART II: PARABLES IN CONTEXT
4. Jews and Christians in Historical Perspective
5. A Revised Story for the Church: Supersessionism Replaced
PART III: CHRISTIAN ORIGINS IN CONTEXT
6. The Complex World of First-Century Judaism
7. Jesus" World: "A Composition of Place"
8. "Jesus" Renewal Movement" Becomes "Christianity"
9. The Partings: Christianity"s Prolonged and Polemical Break with Judaism
10. The Emergence of a Distinctive Christian Theology
PART IV: CHRISTIAN ORIGINS IN THE CHURCH"S LIFE
11. A New Lens on Scripture
12. The Liturgy: A Call to Conversion
13. The Cross as a Christian Symbol
PART V: ECCLESIA CHANGING
14. Ecclesia"s New Posture: The Transformation in Church Teaching
15. Re-educating Ecclesia
Appendix – God"s Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews
and Judaism in Catholic Preaching
In her new book, Has God Only One Blessing?, Mary Boys presents an overview of the
church’s troubled relations to and distorted image of the Jews and Judaism over the
centuries, together with proposals for a theological and practical reconstruction of the
relationship. "The fruit of years of personal experience, dialogue, and research, this
is a ground-breaking work in every way," says Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., Distinguished
Professor of Theology at Fordham University. "With a wealth of examples and argument,
it challenges the inherited idea that Christianity has fulfilled or superseded Judaism as
God’s favored religion, and crafts an alternative vision of the church and synagogue as
partners rather than rivals. Preachers, educators, pastoral ministers, and thoughtful
persons of all stripes will be stunned by this mirror held up to their assumptions and moved
to translate insight into action."
Rabbi A. James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor for the American Jewish Committee
(New York), has described Has God Only One Blessing? as "one of the most
important books I have ever read" (see full text of his review),
and Rabbi Michael Signer, Abrams Professor in the Department of Theology of Notre Dame
University, has stated: "In these pages Jews can discern the true fruits of more than
twenty years that Mary Boys has spent in dialogue with them."
Sister Mary C. Boys, S.N.J.M., is the Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology
at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and is the author of three previous books. Has
God Only One Blessing? includes 64 pages of notes and a 25-page bibliography, and as an
appendix, the full text of the 1988 publication of the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops, "God"s Mercy Endures Forever: Notes on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism
in Catholic Preaching."
Introduction to the book, including a definition of key terms.