Jewish-Christian Relations 1989 - 1993:
A Bibliographic Update
by Eugene J. Fisher
This review-essay is intended to update a rather extensive annotated bibliography I put together for the volume I did with Rabbi Leon Klenicki of the Anti-Defamation League to mark the 25th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's declaration, Nostra Aetate. Titled In Our Time; The Flowering of the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue (Mahwah, NJ:: Paulist Press, Stimulus Books, 1C99O, pp. 105-161), the volume contained key Catholic documents since the Council along with the commentaries by Klenicki and myself and is, in my entirely subjective opinion, a good beginning point on the issues of the dialogue for readers of this Journal.
The present bibliography will follow, in general, the topical outline developed for my 1989 review of the literature, with some modification reflecting more recent trends and emphases. With a few exceptions, I will not repeat works noted then, although some here presented were published during or before 1989.
In speaking with Jewish groups I have noticed over the years that while the statement of the Second Vatican Council is well known, other official Catholic and Protestant statements that have been put out since then are not so well-known. This tends to leave a general impression in the Jewish community that the Churches have failed to follow up on the initial breakthrough and have not made a serious effort to "reach the grass roots" with their renewed Christian teaching. I would argue, however, that the now numerous international and national statements of Christian churches since the Council represent a very significant development in understanding on official levels that will indeed have a profound influence throughout Christian life on all levels in the Years to come. (The reader should note that this is my "half full glass" argument. I am of the school that continues, after studying past Jewish-Christian relations, to be astounded that there is any liquid in the glass at all. Many of my co-workers in the vineyard of dialogue will, rightfully, point to the half emptiness of the same glass.)
What Leon Klenicki and I tried to do for official Catholic documents, Protestant scholars Allan Brockway, Paul van Buren, Rolf Rendtorff and Simon Schoon have accomplished for Protestant texts in The Theology of the Churches and the Jewish People: Statements of the World Council of Churches and Its Member Churches (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1988). Along with a surprisingly firm consensus striving to acknowledge the ongoing validity of the faith of the Jewish people on its own terms (rather than as a mere propadeutic to Christian faith), the more subtle differences in point of view among the twenty World Council and Protestant denominational statements, and those among the commentators themselves, are interesting to note. The internal pluralism of the Christian community, and the creativity consequent upon that pluralism, may surprise some readers of this Journal who may think of Christianity as rather "monolithic" in its attitudes toward Jews and Judaism.
More specifically, Harold Ditmanson has edited Stepping Stones to Further Jewish-Lutheran Relationships: Key Lutheran Statements (Minneapolis: Augsburg/Fortress, 1990), which includes seven documents with comments by himself, Leon Klenicki, E. Gritsch and J. Wallman. The title pays homage, of course, to Helga Croner"s two volumes of Stepping Stones to Further Jewish-Christian Relations (Paulist/Stimulus), which carried Protestant and Catholic documentation up to 1985.
Anyone interested in the history (and therefore the meaning) of the Second Vatican Council"s Declaration and subsequent documents of the Holy See on the subject will be delighted to know of the availability in English of two significant recent volumes. The first is Stjepan Schmidt"s massive study, Augustin Bea, Cardinal of Unity (New York: New Ciq Press, 1992). Bea, a German Jesuit biblical scholar who was a protege of Pius XII, was given the resposibility by Pope John XXIII of drafting a document on the Jews for the consideration of the world"s bishops. Schmidt narrates the famous meeting with Jules Isaac and devotes a fascinating chapter to the intrigue and drama surrounding the Council deliberations. The second is Cardinal Johannes Willebrands" Church and Jewish People: New Considerations (Paulist, 1992). Cardinal Willebrands worked with Bea during the Council and succeeded him as President of the Holy See"s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jewish People. The volume includes 25 of his own writings plus eight key official documents beginning in 1974, culminating in his addresses on "religious pluralism" to the 12th National Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations in Chicago and on "The Shoah" to the International Conference on the Holocaust, both in November of 1990. The significance of these papers for a correct understanding of Church teaching on Jews and Judaism cannot be over-stressed.
The best source that I know of for ongoing documentation and articles, usually issues with a theme explored from both Jewish and Christian perspectives, is the journal SIDIC, put out three times a year by the Sisters of Sion in Rome. It can be ordered through my office (3211 Fourth Street, NE, Washington DC 200177). Also helpful for keeping up with trends and major themes in the dialogue are the volumes of the annual lecture series of the Center for Jewish-Christian Learning at the University of St. Thomas (2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105-1096).
Rabbi Leon Klenicki of the Anti-Defamation League of B"nai B"rith (823 United Nations Plaza, New York NY 10017) is beginning a new series of occasional papers, In Dialogue. The first number included a handy overview of Christian traditions by Msgr. Michael Carroll of Philadelphia and Klenicki on "Historical and Spiritual Healing" between Jews and Christians. The next number will have articles on education by myself and Fr. Remi Hoeckman, O.P., who has recently taken over as Secretary for the Holy See"s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and reports on the important 1992 updates of Christian textbook studies for their treatment of Jews and Judaism.
The original "self-studies" were undertaken by Protestant, Catholic and Jewish scholars at the initiative of the American Jewish Committee in the late 1950s. My own Faith Without Prejudice (New York: Crossroad, 1993) updated the Catholic analysis to register the dramatic improvement in treatment brought about by the Second Vatican Council. Now, Philip Cunningham has done the same in a dissertation for Boston College with the Catholic elementary and secondary educational materials of the 1990s. Once again he reports, Catholic texts are significantly improved over the situation that prevailed in the mid-1970s. Indeed, the series that scored the worst in my study is virtually exemplary today. Stuart Polly"s dissertation on Protestant texts for Jewish Theological Seminary reveals a somewhat more mixed picture, which is not surprising given the range from mainstream to evangelical conservative materials that he studied. Indeed, the entire range, intriguingly, is present among the Lutherans alone, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) scoring as high as the Catholic studies and the Missouri Synod among the lowest.
For those interested in local-level possibilities and parish-synagogue program ideas, The National Dialogue Newsletter (POB 849, Stamford CT 06904) is a must. Founded by the late Frank Brennan, of blessed memory, it has initiated some very interesting exchanges such as the responses to Michael S. Kogan"s "Toward Total Dialogue" recently put together into a special issue. Other newsletter-style publications worth noting are: Interreligious Currents (UAHC, 838 5th Avenue, New York City NY 10021-7064) edited by Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor; Lights on Interfaith Relations edited by Rev. Jay T. Rock for the National Council of Churches (475 Riverside Drive, Room 870, New York City, NY 10115); and Prof. James H. Charlesworth"s Explorations: Rethinking Relationships Among Jews and Christians (American Interfaith Institute, 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19108).
For lack of a better category, I will include here Albert Vorspan"s Start Worrying: Details to Follow (New York: UAHC Press, 1991). While most of the book is, as the author states, an "insider"s look" at Jewish life, one chapter is dialogically pertinent, "The Pope is Coming, The Pope is Coming." As a staff person on the other side of the discussions Vorspan narrates with such humor, I can attest to the accuracy of his depiction. I can even tell you the names of most of the players.
This is a new category that previously had been included with documentation. The need to split the category reflects, I believe, that the dialogue is reaching a period of consolidation and practical implementation.
A volume well-suited to the undergraduate classroom as well as ongoing teacher education and adult dialogue groups is Michael Shermis and Arthur Zannoni"s Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations (Paulist, 1991) which includes essays on the Hebrew Scriptures by Zannoni, the New Testament by Michael Cook, the Holocaust by Michael McGarry, Israel by Robert Everett, Antisemitism by Christine Athans, Religious Pluralism by Philip Culbertson, Jesus and the Pharisees by John Pawlikowski, Intermarriage by Sanford Seltzer, Feminism by Susannah Heschel, and Education by S. Samuel Shermis.
Jews and Christians: A Troubled Family (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990) represents an extended dialogue between a major Protestant theologian and Biblical scholar, Walter J. Harrelson, and a widely respected Jewish leader, Rabbi Randall M. Falk of Congregation Ohavai Shalom in Nashville. A Jewish and Christian "outlook" is provided for eight topics: The Other, Historical Perspectives, Scriptures, God Concepts, Jesus, Antisemitism and the Holocaust, the State of Israel, and Covenant and Mission. The presentations, designed for a course jointly taught by the authors at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, include suggested reading lists and provide a thoughtful basic introduction to the dialogue.
The next volume brings us from the Protestant American South to the Church of England. In Time to Meet: Towards a Deeper Relationship between Jews and Christians (London: SCM Press and Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990) Rev. Marcus Braybrooke, Vicar of Christ Church, Bath, and former director of the Council of Christians and Jews, first summarizes the statements of the Churches, Catholic and Protestant. In this, he seeks to draw out the level of consensus that exists among various statements and also the "unanswered theological challenge" still awaiting official Christian response. Part Two, "Explorations," takes up such challenges as "the Jewish Jesus," Christology, Covenant(s), God and Jesus, "Dialogue or Mission?," Shoah, Israel, and "Together to Pray."
Braybrooke"s approach is well-informed and irenic. I recommend this book highly, although on some points I would personally take a different tack. While eminently fair-minded, for example, he is a bit tortured on the issue of "forgiveness," by which he means primarily Jewish forgiveness of Christians for the latter"s many violent sins against Jews over the centuries culminating in the Holocaust. He wants to argue, if I read him correctly, that the Christian doctrine of forgiveness is different and that the Jews could learn from this and, by forgiving, begin to heal. It is not so much that I disagree with Braybrooke"s theology. He is correct in his understanding of Christian doctrine, of course. But I disagree with the way the issue is joined in this book (and elsewhere among Christians). For me, the issue is not "Why don"t Jews forgive?" but "Have Christians repented?" For Christians no less than for Jews the former is dependent, in God"s grace, on the latter. The situation that precipitated the discussion upon which Braybrooke reflects, after all, was the "reconciliation" ceremony at the Bitburg cemetery between American President Ronald Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In this carefully staged encounter two Christian leaders came together in a Nazi cemetery to forgive each other for crimes committed primarily against Jews, hardly an adequate symbol of Christian repentance that would in any reasonable fashion call for a Jewish response, much less one of collective forgiveness such as Braybrooke appears to be seeking. No, I do not think we Christians should look to the Jewish people to let us off the hook of our own sins, and the consequent obligation, in Jesus" words, to "repent and sin no more" against the Jewish people.
Where Braybrooke comments insightfully on the documents and topics of the contemporary dialogue from the perspective of the Church of England, John Rousmaniere, writing in the context of the American Episcopal Church, attempts an historical introduction in A Bridge to Dialogue: The Story of Jewish-Christian Relations (Mahwah: Paulist, Stimulus 1991). Starting with the first century and including as an appendix a brief survey of "Jewish Foundations of Christian Worship," Rousmaniere provides a succinct popular- level overview of the history of the relationship with its tragedies and misunderstandings, from a Christian point of view. Together with the Braybrooke volume, Bridge to Dialogue will provide Episcopalian parishes and seminaries with a solid set of textbooks for study and discussion of the history and contemporary topics of the relationship.
In 1987, after a biblical seven years of intensive labor and discussion, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted "for study and reflection" a paper entitled, "A Theological Understanding of the Relationship Between Christians and Jews." It compares favorably, needless to say, with other Christian documents in the field. In 1989, the Ecumenical and Interfaith Office of the Global Mission Unit of the PC (USA) issued a series of very helpful "occasional papers" exploring the implications of the document by scholars such as H.J. Kraus, Bruce Robbins, and Judith Herschcopf Banki. The General Assembly mandated further study materials in 1989, resulting in a volume edited by Donald Dawe and Aurelia Fule for the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit of PC (USA) entitled, Christians and Jews Together—Voices from the Conversation (Louisville: Presbyterian Publishing House, 1991). Again, a wide range of Presbyterian and other Protestant scholarship is brought to bear on the subject, along with Jewish comments by David Novak and Michael Wyschogrod. The energy and wide involvement within the Presbyterian community illustrates a strength of Presbyterian polity in that it is able to involve so much of the intellectual core and "grass roots" of its community through the very process of developing and disseminating such a document. The Dawe/Fule volume contains handy "study guides" for several discussion sessions. While I hold great admiration for both the procedure and the high quality of the results, and would hold them up as models for other Christian communities such as my own, I did communicate to Rev. Fule a serious concern with the volume. This was the editorial decision to include, with no differing Jewish or Christian viewpoints, a single essay on "Messianic Jews" which uncritically favors a style of organized "witness" aimed at the Jewish community that many Christians would question as inappropriate.
In the fall of 1990, Fordham University, run by the Jesuit Order in New York, began the celebration of its sesquicentennial with a major symposium on Catholic-Jewish relations. The resulting papers have been brought together in a special issue of the Fordham University Quarterly, Thought: A Review of Culture and Idea (Vol. 67, No. 267, December 1992), edited by Rev. Donald J. Moore, S.J., who also contributed a paper on Jewish Spirituality. Authors include Elie Wiesel and John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M., on Nostra Aetate; Celia Deutsch, N.D.S., and Norman J. Cohen on the New Testament and the Parting of the Ways, respectively, David Burrell, C.S.C., on the State of Israel and Rabbi A. James Rudin and myself projecting our "dreams" for dialogue together into the 21st Century.
A lovely and insightful dialogue, actually the edited transcript of a four-hour television conversation for NBC, can be found in Elie Wiesel and John Cardinal O"Connor, A Journey of Faith (New York: Donald I. Fine, 1990). The two speak their personal memories of their fathers and their reflections on topics ranging from antisemitism to Zionism, picking up a number of contemporary controversies and hopes on the way.
A handy reference tool for beginnings in dialogue is found in Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok"s A Dictionary of Judaism and Christianity (Philadelphia Trinity Press International, 1991), with brief entries on topics and terms ranging from abortion and Abraham to Yom Tov and Zionism. The work could have been improved by the active collaboration of a Christian scholar. The treatment of "Catholicism" as K"lal Yisrael, with more weight given to Anglican and Orthodox Christian objections to Roman Catholic claims than to providing insight into Catholicism as a tradition in its own right, while interesting to some, may not give the non-Catholic reader much understanding of her Catholic neighbors. Also, the copy editor for the back cover got a little carried away when he or she claimed that "This is the first dictionary to explain and compare the key concepts, beliefs and practices of both Judaism and Christianity." That distinction should go to Leon Klenicki and Geoffrey Wigoder for their A Dictionary of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue (Paulist/Stimulus, 1984), a project that did involve Christians giving their own perspectives on each of the thirty-four terms included.
While the conversation among "mainline" Protestants, Catholics and Jews has been moving along at a pace marked by official statements and dearly measurable progress, readers of this Journal may also wish to know the status of the dialogue wity torotestant Evangelicals. Pioneered by the late Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum along with his American Jewish Committee colleague Rabbi A. James Rudin and Evangelical scholar Marvin R. Wilson with conferences which resulted in two volumes of collected essays on Evangelicals and Jews (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978, 1984) and A Time to Speak: The Evangelical-Jewish Encounter (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), the relationship has more recently been chronicled by David A. Rausch, Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Ashland University in Communities in Conflist: Evangelicals and Jews and Fundamentalist Evangelicals and Anti-Semitism (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991 and 1993, respectively).
The history of critical literary and biblical scholarship has been in the main (with some very notable exceptions) virtually coterminous with Protestant history in Europe and, more recently, also in America. Given this fact, it is not surprising that anti-Catholic and anti-Judaic polemics more than occasionally crept into biblical criticism. Wellhausen"s highly influential late 19th century text, for example, managed not so subtly to write off both priests and Pharisees (and therefore Catholic and Jewish traditions) as obsolete, moribund, and superseded by Protestant Christianity by applying Hegelian dialectics to biblical history. Jews and Catholics, understandably, had difficulties feeling at home in critical biblical studies and often tended to look askance at their own members who ventured to enter into such studies.
Thankfully, the age of such polemicized approaches to sacred Scripture is now receding behind us. Among the activities to celebrate the centenary of its founding in 1880, the once-staunchly Protestant and now ecumenical Society of Biblical Literature commissioned a series of Confessional Perspectives. Perhaps nothing other than our liturgies touches the internal life of communities more than the methods and perspectives we bring to bear on the interpretation of the Bible, since it is, in whatever canon, for all of us, our founding and ultimately validating document. (The Muslims, I suspect, were not entirely wrong to call both Jews and Christians "People of the Book" despite the huge differences between us.)
Jews of a scholarly bent who wish to understand how Catholic tradition functions will be interested in Gerald Fogarty"s fascinating American Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A History from the Early Republic to Vatican II (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989). Similarly, Catholics will be interested in S. David Sperling"s Students of the Covenant: A History of Jewish Biblical Scholarship in North America (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992). Together, these volumes can form the basis for a very rich dialogue of shared perspective among American Jews and Catholics in an area that I suspect will be surprising to both.
In a now classic essay on "Tanakh and New Testament" in L. Boadt, et al., Biblical Studies: Meeting Ground of Jews and Christians (Paulist 1980), Joseph Blenkinsopp of the University of Notre Dame lamented the inability of Christians to "take Tanakh seriously on its own terms" (rather than traditional apologetical ones), an inability which in turn has rendered it virtually impossible for Christians to know "how to write an Old Testament theology" (p. 113). While the theological dilemmas intertwined in Blenkinsopp"s deceptively simple lament are far from resolved, at least one approach to his ";how to" is emerging: Christians can write a biblical theology if they do so not in isolation from, but in dialogue with, the Jewish People.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the University of Notre Dame itself began work on this with a conference, the papers of which have been edited by Roger Brooks and John Collins under the title Hebrew Bible or Old Testament?: Studying the Bible in Judaism and Christianity (Notre Dame, IN, 1990). Wrangling with the issues in addition to the editors and Blenkinsopp are Roland Murphy, Josephine Massynbaerde Ford, James A. Sanders, Eugene Ulrich, Rolf Rendtorff, Jon D. Levenson, David Levenson, James L. Kugel, Adela Yarbro Collins and Charles Kannengiesser. This is a
nificant volume that deserves a wide distribution and readership. The terminological issue has more recently been debated (in most friendly fashion) by Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P., and myself, in the issues of the journal, New Theology Review (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN 56321) for November 1991 (Vol. 4, No. 4), August 1991 (Vol. 5, No. 3), and February 1993 (Vol. 6, No. 1).
Jon Levenson"s essay from the Notre Dame volume is reprinted in his excellent collection, The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament and Historical Criticism: Jews and Christians in Biblical Studies (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993). Levenson, who is increasingly emerging as a major figure in the field, takes on Christian biases in historical criticism of both past and present, as well as the misuse of the Exodus by some contemporary liberation theologians, a subject on which we shall have more to say later.
On a clearly popular level, two of the most prolific authors of modern times, Andrew M. Greeley and Jacob Neusner, have combined to provide an example of what might be possible with The Bible and Us: A Priest and A Rabbi Read Scripture Together (New York: Warner Books, 1990). Ranging from Genesis through the prophets to the New Testament, the authors comment on the text and gently prod the readers and each other to new perspectives. Rabbi Michael Goldberg in Jews and Christians Getting Our Stories Straight: The Exodus and the Passion-Resurrection (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991) in a sense tries to hold down both sides of the dialogue by himself.
While the result is certainly of interest, it must be said that he is more effective in presenting the Jewish than the Christian narrative. He has restricted himself solely to the Gospel of Matthew, which is a bit misleading since the analogy between Jesus and Moses is distinctive to that Gospel ignoring in the process the liturgical context of the nascent Christian narrative as well as the other three Gospels. Jacob Neusner"s A Rabbi Talks with Jesus: An Intermillennial, Interfaith Exchange (New York: Doubleday, 1993) utilizes the literary device of projecting himself into the Gospel of Matthew and offering his own reflections and reactions to Jesus" words as he walks with him. This method does yield insights and recommends itself to the general reader, although Neusner"s understanding of Matthew is a bit more "individualistic" than most Catholics would prefer.
While a major issue in the previous category was how and whether Christians and Jews can read together a (mostly) common biblical text, the issue facing the dialogue with respect to the New Testament is how Christians can handle its often polemical portraits of Jews and Judaism from the pulpit and in the classroom. The official Church mandates to do so are already in place, as the documentation discussed above will amply illustrate. But how is the official mandate to be translated into practical language and insights? An attempt to provide background material for Christian preachers and teachers has been co-edited by David Efroymson, myself and Leon Klenicki of the Anti-Defamation League as Within Context: Essays on Jews and Judaism in the New Testament (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1993). The contents define the range of issues that Christian educators need to take up. Mary Boys, S.N.J.M., offers an alternative vision to ancient supersessionism. Anthony Saldarini outlines the characteristics of "The Judaism Contemporary with Jesus." Philip Cunningham and Urban von Wahlde deal with the positive and negative presentations of Judaism in the Synoptic gospels and St. John, respectively. Terrance Callan treats Paul and the Law, Efroymson Jesus and Opponents, and Fisher the Passion Narratives. The book includes discussion questions and bibliography and can be used as a text and in teacher formation programs. A short book on the Gospel of John also designed to combat the old "teaching of contempt" by providing reflective material, this time for use in adult education classes, is Philip S. Kaufman osb, The Beloved Disciple: Witness Against Anti-Semitism (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991).
Two popular level volumes from the American Midwest, one Catholic and one Protestant, complement one another in approaching with admirable directness the polemical strata of the New Testament. George M. Smiga of St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland has produced in Pain and Polemic: Anti- Judaism in the Gospels (Mahwah: Paulist/Stimulus, 1992) the more systematic work, taking the reader book by book through the four Gospels and using the latest research to explain how one may understand the ancient polemics today. Clark Williamson and Ronald Allen of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis have written a very handy volume, Interpreting Difficult Texts: Anti-Judaism and Christian Preaching (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity 1989). The work defines the problem in general, sets it in historical context in the early church, offers "case studies in selected texts," and will help the reader to develop sermons and other liturgical strategies to address the problem responsibly.
Traveling back across the Atlantic and to a more academic plane James D.G. Dunn, professor of Divinity at the University of Durham, has produced a magisterial study of The Parting of the Ways Between Christianity and Judaism and their Significance for the Character of Christianity (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1991) that may rival in impact the works of E.P. Sanders that almost single-handedly put the issues of the dialogue on the agenda of mainstream Christian biblical scholarship. Dunn surveys the literature "from Baur to Sanders" as the basis for his own reflections, summarizing what he calls the "four pillars of second temple Judaism" and the relationship to them of Jesus" teaching and that of the early Church. Dunn has something useful to say on just about every major issue. For example, it has long been the fashion among Christians following J. Jeremias" work to see in Jesus" use of the term "abba, Father" a proof not only of Jesus" intimacy with God but that of all Christians vis-a-vis Jews who were not seen to be on such close terms with the divine. Dunn affirms that the early Church saw this in its remembrance of Jesus" use of the term but goes on to comment that "it often comes as something of a shock to realize that it was not the same pre-Nicaea, not at any rate at the time of Jesus. In Jewish thinking of the first century, "son of God" was ... a way of characterizing someone who was thought to be commissioned by God or highly favored by God ... but did not necessarily imply any overtones of divinity" (pp. 170-171). Thus, Dunn neatly preserves what is valid in the abba hypothesis while (if I may use the term) "deconstructing" it of its modern polemical edge.
Protestant scholar E.P. Sanders" Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah: Five Studies (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1990) deals with "The Synoptic Jesus and the Law"; "Did the Pharisees Have Oral Law?"; "Did the Pharisees Eat Ordinary Food in Purity?"; "Purity, Food and Offerings in the Diaspora"; and last (but by no means least!) "Jacob Neusner and the Philosophy of the Mishnah." Whatever one may say about individual judgments of Sanders, he has succeeded admirably, as I indicated above, in bringing to the center of the Christian biblical discussion the key issues of Jewish-Christian dialogue. Sanders has collaborated with Margaret Davies of the University of Bristol, England, in a textbook for advanced theology students, Studying the Synoptic Gospels (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1989) teaching the various methodologies of New Testament criticism.
Another major Protestant New Testament scholar working in the field is James H. Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary whose Jesus Within Judaism (Doubleday, 1988) I recommended in In Our Time. Since then, in addition to putting out the newsletter, Explorations, Charlesworth has begun editing a series of volumes under the sponsorship of Philadelphia"s American Interfaith Institute. The volume Jesus" Jewishness: Exploring the Place of Jesus in Early Judaism (New York: Crossroad, 1991) includes essays on the New Testament by Jewish and Christian scholars Harvey Cox, David Flusser, Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., Hans Küng, John P. Meier, Alan F. Segal, Ellis Rivkin and Geza Vermes. My own Faith Without Prejudice: Rebuilding Christian Attitudes Towards Jews and Judaism (Crossroad: Revised and expanded edition, 1993) is designed as a primer for teachers and general educated readers in the Jewishness of Jesus" teaching and in how to handle difficult texts such as the Passion Narratives. Appended are relevant documents and bibliography.
A major Catholic scholar in the field is Daniel Harrington, whose Sacra Pagina commentary on The Gospel of Matthew (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press/Michael Glazier Books, 1991) illustrates again the pervasive influence of Jewish-Christian dialogue on materials designed not just for the dialogue but for general use by Christian clergy and educators. Similarly, The Catholic Study Bible for The New American Bible (Oxford University Press, 1990) edited by Donald Senior, et al., is destined for widespread general use in the community for years to come. Most of its authors have been involved, in one form or another, in Jewish-Christian dialogue and reflect its concerns as they take up their commentaries on the books of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament alike.
A resource in English from Israel is the special issue (24/25, 1990) of the journal, Immanuel, edited by Malcolm Lowe, The New Testament and Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Studies in Honor of David Flusser (Ecumenical Fraternity, POB 249, 91002 Jerusalem, Israel). The 18 articles by Jewish and Christian scholars living in Israel reflect the breadth of the honoree"s own studies. A Christian disciple of Flusser, Brad H. Young, has utilized the master"s techniques to produce a very thorough and useful study, Jesus and His Jewish Parables (Mahwah: Paulist Press, Theological Inquiries Series, 1989). Clemens Thoma and Michael Wyschogrod have edited for the Stimulus series Parable and Story in Judaism and Christianity (Paulist, 1989).
Highlighting the ten essays are the paired studies of the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen by David Stern of the University of Pennsylvania and Aaron Milavec of the University of Cincinnati. I liked especially also Flusser on "Aesop"s Miser and the Parable of the Talents"; Frank Kermode of King"s College, Cambridge on "New Ways with Bible Stories"; Romano Penna of Lateran University in Rome on "Narrative Aspects of the Epistle to the Romans"; and Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P., on "Understanding the Mashal and Its Value for Jewish-Christian Dialogue in Narrative Theology."
Revising Christian understanding of the writings of St. Paul has been a major agenda item since the Second Vatican Council relied so heavily on Romans 9-11 to advance its more positive appreciation of the role of Judaism and the Jewish people in God"s plan of salvation. In a short but provocative book, Jesuit scholar Norbert Lohfink of the University of Frankfurt sets forth twelve New Testament "theses" in The Covenant Never Revoked: Biblical Reflections on Christian-Jewish Dialogue (Mahwah: Paulist, 1991). Fellow Jesuit Daniel J. Harrington of Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, undertakes a general survey of the literature on the Pauline corpus in his masterful and concise (103 pages including index) Paul on the Mystery of Israel (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, Michael Glazier Books, 1992).
Again, I am struck with how much work has been done by Christian scholars on these issues, to the point where someone like Harrington can discern some consensus emerging, even where I might personally hope for a different result on a specific passage. A thought-provoking fresh look at Paul from a Jewish perspective is taken by Alan F. Segal in Paul the Convert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Pharisee (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990). Even where Christian scholars disagree with Segal"s analysis of the Pauline letters and the psychology of their author, they will profit from working through his theories.
A significant service has been done for the dialogue by Orbis Press in publishing the volume, Bursting the Bonds? A Jewish-Christian Dialogue on Jesus and Paul (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, Faith Meets Faith Series, 1990). The volume brings together in truly dialogical fashion Leonard Swidler (Catholic) and Lewis John Eron (Jewish) on Jesus/Yeshua as a "Torah-true Jew" and Gerard Sloyan (Catholic) and Lester Dean (Jewish) on Paul, the Law, and Hope for the Jews. It is a delightful exchange highlighted by the thoughtful insights of Father Sloyan.
Hayim Goren Perelmuter"s Siblings: Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity at Their Beginnings (Mahwah: Paulist, 1989) is an excellent introduction for Christians not only into rabbinic/New Testament parallels but even more so into some of the great figures of early rabbinism. Perelmuter presents in readable fashion what is known of, and translates sayings and tales ascribed to and about such seminal teachers as Simeon teen Shetah, Hillel, Johanan teen Zakkai the Talmudic "odd couple" Eliezer and Joshua, Akiba, and Meir and Elisha teen Abuya.
If I may say so, a volume eminently usable as an introduction whether for general reading, in dialogue groups, or as a classroom text, is my own Interwoven Destinies: Jews and Christians through the Ages (Mahwah: Paulist/Stimulus, 1993). The papers are taken from the plenary sessions of the Ninth National Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations in Baltimore. The idea was to provide a Jewish and Christian reflection on each major historical period from the first century beginnings to the present. These are: Daniel Harrington and Michael Cook on the New Testament; Martha Himmelfarb and John Gager on "the Parting of the Ways" (the Patristic/Talmudic period); Jeremy Cohen and Edward Synan, FRSC, on the Medieval developments; and Alice Eckardt and Arthur Hertzberg, respectively, on the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment. The dual perspectives on our shared history, I believe, will provide enriching surprises for both Jewish and Christian readers, as well as a reliable guide.
With regard to the early period of the relationship, previously mentioned Alan F. Segal of Barnard College, Columbia University, has put out a useful study in Rebecca"s Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), concluding with reflections on "twin sons with different missions." As in Perelmuter, the "siblings" analogy for the relationship between the Christian Church and Rabbinic Judaism is more satisfying both as a matter of historical chronology and as a theoretical paradigm for organizing the historical data. Jeffrey Siker"s Disinheriting the Jews: Abraham in Early Christian Controversy (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1991) traces how Abraham, originally viewed by St. Paul as the "father of Jews and Gentiles alike," came in the second century, for example in Justin Martyr"s Dialogue with Trypho, to be seen as the "father of Christians alone," thus marking the shift from Paul"s arguments in favor of "Gentile inclusion" to the patristic Church"s move to "Jewish exclusion."
In "Be Fertile and Increase, Fill the Earth and Master It": The Ancient and Medieval Career of a Biblical Text (Ithaca and London: Cornell University, 1989), Jeremy Cohen, professor of history at Ohio State and Tel Aviv universities, undertakes a systematic survey of biblical and later Jewish and Christian usages and interpretations of Genesis 1:28. The result is a masterful piece of scholarship that will debunk many stereotypes Jews and Christians have of each other (e.g., what Jews think Christians believe about "original sin," and what Christians think the text conveys about ecological concenin). Particularly striking are the commonalities and parallels of understanding the text despite the polemical stance between the two communities over the centuries.
Two volumes of the American Interfaith Institute series may also be placed in this category, although as collections they are somewhat eclectic. Both edited by James H. Charlesworth of Princeton University, they are Jews and Christians Exploring the Past, Present and Future (New York: Crossroad, 1990) and Overcoming Fear Between Jews and Christians (New York: Crossroad, 1992). Together, the two volumes comprise 24 articles by Jewish and Christian scholars in several fields. There are, for example, articles by major biblical scholars such as Charlesworth, J. Christian Beker, Roland Murphy, D. Moody Smith, R. Alan Culpeper and Martin Hengel. There are specific historical articles, such as Hans Hillerbrand on Martin Luther, Grover Zinn on "The Victorine Exegetical Tradition," W. Barnes Tatum on Clement of Alexandria"s "Philo-Semitism," and Roger Fenn on the Holocaust. And there are more contemporary reflections, such as those by A. Roy Eckardt, Hugh Anderson and Christopher Leighton, to mention just a few.
A scholarly article worthy of note is Matthias Neuman, osb, "Carolingian Monastic Writers and the Ninth-Century Jewish Question," The American Benedictine Review (Vol. 42:3, Sept. 1991) 251-281, which turns out to be of more general interest with regard to the larger trends of Jewish-Christian history than one might imagine from the title.
Again, I will mention one of my own books as a general, popular-level introduction written for Christians but perhaps of interest also to Jews. The Jewish Roots of Christian Liturgy (Mahwah: Paulist, 1990) gathers 15 articles from the pages of the Roman journal, SIDIC, recommended above. Written by both Jews and Christians, the essays delve into the Jewish origins of Christian liturgy, Jewish and Christian liturgies with relation to life cycle events such as marriage and death, Sabbath and Sunday, and "Liturgical Tensions and Renewal." Appended to the book is a document of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops" Committee on the Liturgy, God"s Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching (NCCB, 1988). This official statement illustrates how the bishops would like their priests and deacons to proclaim the Gospel from the pulpit.
Carmine DiSante"s Jewish Prayer: The Origins of Christian Liturgy (Mahwah: Paulist, 1991) is more exhaustive and scholarly in style. It seeks to explain to Christian readers the sources and structure of Jewish liturgy, private and communal phases of Jewish prayer, and the major and minor Jewish "feasts." Even more scholarly is the collection of essays edited by Tamara Eskenazi, Daniel Harrington, and William Shea, The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian Traditions (New York: Crossroad, 1991). This includes 21 articles by leading Jewish and Christian biblical and liturgical scholars such as Robert Goldenberg, Samuele Bacchiocchi, John Primus, Walter Wurzburger, Jacques Doukhan, John Baldovin, and Lawrence Hoffman, covering rabbinic and New Testament, historical, theological, liturgical, legal and ecumenical perspectives. A "must" for researchers and libraries, but not casual readers.
College of Idaho professor Michael Lodahl"s Shechinah/Spirit: Divine Presence in Jewish and Christian Tradition (Mahwah, NJ:: Paulist/Stimulus, 1992) is an excursus in process theology. It attempts to deal with the "Spirit of God" concept in both Judaism and Christianity in terms of three theological "problems": religious exclusivism (monotheism, trinitarianism); evil (the Zohar, Isaac Luria, the Holocaust); and eschatology (creation, covenant, history). The result is worthwhile for the dialogue but hard going for the non-professional.
This continues, as it must, to be a central focus for the dialogue. First, now that the nuns are out of the old theater adjacent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and moved into their new convent near the Interfaith Center for Dialogue and Information established nearby, I may mention two retrospective volumes that will be of help in assessing what, after all, actually happened in the controversy. The first is by Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a Polish Catholic honored by Yad vaShem as among the righteous who is now professor of history at the Catholic University in Lublin. Bartoszewski"s The Warsaw Ghetto: A Christian"s Testimony (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987) remains a significant witness to the tragedy. His book The Convent at Auschwitz (New York: George Brazillier, 1991) is hard-hitting yet fair and frequently insightful into how the controversy was perceived within Poland. In Memory Offended: The Auschwitz Convent Controversy, Carol Rittner and John K. Roth (New York: Praeger, 1991) have edited the reflections of Jewish and Christian thinkers on the controversy and its larger significance. With a useful appendix of key documents culminating in the historic Pastoral letter of the Polish Catholic Bishops read in all parishes in the country on January 20, 1991, the collection includes Richard Rubinstein, Ronald Modras, John Pawlikowski, Gabriel Moran, Michael Berenbaum, the late Claire Huchet-Bishop (of blessed memory), Judith Banki, Mary Jo Leddy, Albert Friedlander, Robert McAffee Brown, and several survivors.
Two significant volumes on rescuers have been engendered by the Anti-Defamation League"s Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers. These are: Gay Block and Malka Drucker, editors, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1992); and Mordecai Paldiel, The Path of the Righteous: Gentile Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV, 1993). The two books, both organized according to country, complement one another. The former volume transcribes and edits interviews with 49 rescuers and includes searching photographs of them, and so achieves an immediacy and intimacy with its subjects. The latter provides a more complete historical and narrative context for the individual stories it tells and therefore the phenomenon as a whole. Harry James Cargas in Voices from the Holocaust (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993) adds to our primary sources twelve interviews with survivors and rescuers ranging from Arnost Lustig and Yitzhak Arad to Dorothy Sölle and Leo Eitinger.
For an overall assessment of the literature in the field up to the time of its publication, Michael R. Marrus" The Holocaust in History (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1987) remains the best statement I have seen on the status guestionis. Some recent works pick up specific aspects of the history of the events of and surrounding the Shoah in various countries. Stefan Korbonski, a Pole honored in 1980 by Yad Vashem, wrote The Jews and the Poles in World War II (New York: Hippocrene, 1989), the dust jacket informs us, "to set the record straight." Only 136 pages in length and somewhat defensive in tone, Korbonski"s account brings to bear valuable documentary evidence that deserves to be weighed in any study of the Holocaust in Poland.
Also worth taking into account, although not the last word, is Klaus Scholder"s A Requiem for Hitler and Other New Perspectives on the German Church Struggle (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1989). The author, a German Lutheran, is perhaps more successful in dealing: with the history of his own Church community. With regard to the Catholic Church, he seems to feel the need to debunk what he felt was a prevailing Catholic self image "of a church which was almost solid in its opposition to National Socialism" (p. 157, from a 1980 article included in the volume). I think, however, that more recent documents from the German Catholic bishops" conference show that there is less need today for such debunking. With regard to France, Paul Webster"s Petain"s Crime: The Full Story of French Collaboration in the Holocaust (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1991) is again aimed at challenging what the author, whether correctly or not, perceives to be a rather too benign self-image on the part of the French as to the history of the Vichy government of Marshall Petain and its treatment of the Jews.
The emotional content of all three of the above books dealing with Poland, Germany and France reveals something of the rawness with which Western civilization still approaches the massive trauma of the Second World War. It may be another generation before even our historians achieve the level of balance and emotional distancing to truly "weigh" the historical evidence in any definitive fashion. Albert H. Friedlander wrestles with his personal demons of the past in A Thread of Gold: Journeys towards Reconciliation (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1990), a set of reflections on his journeys to East and West Germany in 1990. I found it moving and ultimately uplifting.
Also providing moving narrations on a popular level, and set into a helpfully drawn historical framework, is Trudi Alexy"s The Mezuzah in the Madonna"s Foot (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993). Though subtitled "Oral Histories Exploring 500 years in the Paradoxical Relationship of Spain and the Jews," the volume centers on the author and several other Jews who found an "unlikely haven" in Spain in World War II. It also details the stories of several rescuers (chiefly Lisa Fittko and Renee Reichmann) and follows the more recent work of the Catholic and Jewish "reformers" in Barcelona. Finally, there is an intriguing chapter on the "Crypto-Jews of the American Southwest."
We can look forward to Suzan Zucotti"s The Holocaust, the French and the Jews (New York: Basic Books, 1993), which I have not yet read. But I remain so impressed with her earlier work on the Italians that I would urge readers to check this one out.
We Americans, we should recall, are also part of the story. Mary Christine Athans, BVM, who teaches history at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, has produced a fascinating bit of what I would call dark Americana in The Coughlin-Fahey Connection: Fr. Charles Coughlin, Fr. Dennis Fahey, and Religious Anti-Semitism in the United States, 1938-1954 (New York: Peter Lang, 1991). Athans relies on correspondence between the two priests found in the archives of the Irish Province of the Holy Ghost Congregation in Dublin, and other materials not previously available to historians, to reveal the distinctive intellectual history of Fr. Coughlin"s theological antisemitism.
A book that I list with some diffidence for the sensitivities involved is the Thomas R. Nevin biography, Simone Weil: Portrait of a Self-Exiled Jew (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991). I list it here because its nearly 500 pages do contain some nuggets of historical interest, for example, concerning her experiences with Vichy France.
Reconstructing and evaluating the historical events of the Holocaust is only the beginning of the task facing Jews and Christians in its wake. We must assess what to do with our shared and separate memories for the sake of our children in terms of our basic understanding of reality and human history.
Michael Berenbaum, project director for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., takes on this challenge from a Jewish perspective in After Tragedy and Triumph: Essays in Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). With the Museum now open, Berenbaum"s inside perspective on the discussions and argumentation that went into it take on even greater interest. His reflections, in the light of that attempt at an institutional and American remembrance of the Holocaust, on the theories of Rosenzweig, Buber, Wiesel, Neusner, pluralism and Zionism will be of interest not only to Jews but to Christians as well. For Christian teachers, clergy and others, the Holocaust Museum"s annual "Days of Remembrance: Guides for Commemorative Programs" will remain a useful educational resource for years to come.
Stephen R. Haynes attempts a Christian approach to Prospects for Post-Holocaust Theology (Atlanta: Scholars Press/American Academy of Religion, 1991) based uponoctr writings of Barth, Moltmann and van Buren. Written as a doctoral dissertation for Emory University, Haynes" study is thorough and succeeds admirably in presenting to the reader what is most pertinent for Christian-Jewish understanding in the theologies of the three Christian thinkers, although only Van Buren, of the three, has attempted a full-scale, systematic revision of Christian theology in the light of the Shoah. Haynes is least effective, in this reviewer"s opinion, in his discussions with regard to Christian understandings of the State of Israel. Instead of seeing Zionism straightforwardly as the 20th century liberation movement of the Jewish people, he tends to allow its critics to frame the issue, defining Zionism rather as nationalism, which leads him to judge negatively (and I think unfairly), for example, much of van Buren"s work.
This brings us to the collections of essays by Jews and Christians on the Holocaust. In the interest of fair advertising and (as we say in my town) "full disclosure," I must note that I have a contribution in each of the next four works. Alan L. Berger, ea., Bearing Witness to the Holocaust, 1939-1989 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1991) comprises 21 papers presented at the 19th Annual Scholars" Conference on the Holocaust and Church Struggle held in Philadelphia in 1989. They are divided into five categories: Survivor Testimonies (H. Hirsh, E. Tanay, N. Tec); Philosophical Responses (R. Kalechofsky, R. Melson, S. Katz, R. Rubenstein, R. Smith); Religious Responses a. Fischel, G. Greenberg, P. Marcus and A. Rosenberg, R. Ross); Artistic Responses (B. Asbury, R. Brenner, S. Pentlin, I. Zarecka); and The Aftermath (Z. Garber, R. Pierard, R. Eckardt, E. Fisher, M. Rosenbloom).
Steven L. Jacobs, rabbi of Temple B"nai Sholom in Huntsville, Alabama, solicited ten Christian and ten Jewish scholars for a two volume set of Contemporary Jewish and Christian Religious Responses to the Shoah (Lanham, NY: University Press of American, 1993): S. Jacobs, M. Berenbaum, M. Ellis, E. Fackenheim, P. Haas, B. Maza, R. Rubenstein, A. Waskow, H.J. Cargas, A. Davies, A. Eckardt, E. Fisher, D. Huneke, T. Idinopolous, M. McGarry, J. Pawlikowski, R. Ruether and J. Roth.
Sr. Mary Noel Kernan, SC, has put together ten papers from the First Scholars" Conference on the Teaching of the Holocaust under the title Peace/Shalom After Atrocity Greensburg, PA: Seton Hill College/National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, 1989). These deal with educational issues such as my own, "Why Teach the Holocaust?"; Michael McGarry"s "Practical Considerations in Teaching the Holocaust"; George Diestel on the Humanities; Patricia Farrant on Holocaust Literature; Roger Gottlieb on "Remembering"; Gershon Greenberg on "American Catholics During the Holocaust"; Myrna Goldenberg on "Women Remembering the Holocaust"" and Frederick Schweitzer on History and Antisemitism. Sr. Carol Rittner, RSM, has edited what I feel is a very interesting set of Christian and Jewish essays in Elie Wiesel: Between Memory and Hope (NY: New York University Press, 1990). Some highlights are the papers of Daniel Stern, Dow Marmur, Marcel Dubois, Eva Fleischner, Robert McAfee Brown, and Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger.
This again is a new category, and not a happy one. I include it because honesty is a higher virtue than pleasantness. First, the politics. Here, the unpleasantness is on the Christian side. I refer to the heavily politicized, anti-Zionist recent works of Rosemary Radford Ruether. Although a few Christian scholars of stature reacted positively to Ruether"s overstated arguments in her 1974 Faith and Fratricide, many, especially those involved already in the dialogue, responded negatively. The book, however, seems to have struck a sympathetic chord among Jews, many of whom set up her dictum, "Antisemitism is the left hand of Christology" as the yardstick by which to judge other Christian thinkers. Several years ago Michael McGarry warned against the proclivity on the part of some in the Jewish community to judge Christian thinkers on the basis of how close they come to the most radical positions. Such idealization of what are destined to be at most fringe Christian positions, and which have no meaningful chance of being adopted by the larger Christian community, can lead to confusion and unwarranted disappointment.
Ruether"s tendency to argue from and to extremes has now zone full circle. Her book, The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989), written with her husband, Herman J. Ruether, former director of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in Evanston, IL, is a straight "good guy/bad guy" thriller. The "Zionists," of course, are the bad guys and the source of all evil in the Middle East, with the Palestinians and other Arabs playing the part of the victims that Ruether had reserved for the Jews in Faith and Fratricide. While strong critiques of Israeli governmental actions and policies are, in my view, certainly in order in the dialogue, Ruether makes the jump to what I would call the "demonization" of Zionism, which is another level of rhetoric altogether than the "prophetic" that she invokes in justification. The highly critical reactions of responsible Christian scholars involved in the dialogue to the Ruethers" Wrath may be found in a symposium in the journal Continuum (New York: Crossroad, and Chicago: St. Xavier College, Autumn 1990, pp. 105-136). In my own view, I would have to conclude that Rosemary Ruether has, unfortunately, allowed ideology to overtake her scholarship.
While it contains several articles by very good scholars and is more balanced than Wrath, R.R. Ruether and Marc Ellis, editors, Beyond Occupation: American Jewish, Christian, and Palestinian Voices for Peace (Boston: Beacon Press, 1990), is a questionable offering. In a startling display of editorial pique, for example, the editors at the end of the volume argue with and seek to devalue precisely the thinkers whose participation they invited to give the volume some sense of realism. Irving Greenberg, Arthur Hertzberg, John Pawlikowski, Robert McAfee Brown, and even Michael Lerner are found wanting by the editors. Rosemary Ruether, in her concluding essay, curiously wants to position herself in a transcendent position "Beyond Antisemitism and Philo-Semitism." I do not believe she has succeeded in moving much beyond the first, nor would I view moving beyond the second to be much of a goal to which a Christian should aspire.
Like Ruether, Hyam Maccoby, Librarian of Leoory.ck College, London, came to prominence with a book that many consider to have become a classic, Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1981). So far as I know, this book has stood the test of time better than Ruether"s. But Maccoby seems to have gotten stuck, as it were, in the time period he analyzed so well. In his subsequent works he tends to presume that the situation that existed in the Middle Ages was also true, without significant difference, in the centuries before and after the period of the disputations. Briefly, Maccoby views history as basically flat, so that things that were said or believed in the High Middle Ages are present in full bloom in texts written a thousand years earlier. Paul and Hellenism (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1991) and Judas Iscariat and the Myth of Jewish Evil (New York: Macmillan: The Free Press, 1992) present themselves as objective scholarly studies of Christianity. And the author doubtlessly sincerely believes that they are. But in my view they should more properly be categorized as polemical literature. Both read as if Maccoby were somehow personally engaged in a medieval dispute and is launching in that context devastating barbs against the Christian faith. This makes for stimulating reading and, if one is Jewish, one could well issue an understandable cheer now and then at Maccoby"s verbal pyrotechnics. But readers should not confuse this genre of writing with scholarly work that will in fact tell them anything meaningful or significant about Christianity or Christians. Christians have been reduced to a caricature (as Christians themselves have done so often in the past to Jews and therefore doubtlessly deserve to be).
Similarly, Joel Carmichael, the redoubtable editor of Midstream, has indulged in a flight of comforting fantasy in his The Satanizing of the Jews: Origin and Development of Mystical AntiSemitism (New York: Fromm International, 1992), inventing a Christianity that is an easy target for his debunking rather than doing the hard work of grappling with the real intransigencies and complexities of history. The problem with this genre of Jewish anti-Christian polemics is not that we Christians don"t deserve to be hoisted on our petard in this fashion. We do. And it is impossible not to admire the verve and spirit with which these two powerful rhetoricians skewer Christianity by parodying it. The problem is that this type of literature can obscure the real difficulties that must be faced by Jews and Christians together by refusing to allow one side the integrity of its own belief and traditions. This repeats but does not solve the ancient error.
Readers may find it odd to find a work by one of the foremost theologians of our time included in this section on polemics. But I believe Hans Küng"s massive Judaism: Between Yesterday and Today (New York: Crossroad, 1992) fits this category. Küng attempts to summarize all of the Jewish history and thought through paradigm theory. But in this instance that theory turns into a procrustean bed. A key test of any attempt to describe another religious tradition is whether members of that tradition will actually see themselves in the attempted description. In this case, I do not believe that very many Jews will see Judaism depicted here either accurately or sympathetically. This book tells us a lot about what kind of religion would be an ideal one in Küng"s mind. But it tells us almost nothing about what Judaism in its many manifestations over the centuries has been, is, or could be. In short, it fails to live up to its title and cannot be recommended.
This section takes its name from a wonderful volume edited by Rabbi Leon Klenicki, Toward a Theological Encounter: Jewish Understandings of Christianity (Mahwah: Paulist/Stimulus, 1991). It has long been noted, by John Pawlikowski and others, that the Jewish community has never subjected itself to the discipline of attempting official joint statements that would be the counterpart to the numerous Christian statements of the Catholic and Protestant Churches. In part, this is because of the asymmetrical nature of the history of persecution of Jews by Christians and the teaching of contempt, and in part it is because of the distinctive nature of Jewish religious polity. But it has resulted in a lack of systematic response by the Jewish community to Christian outreach in our time (with the major exception of Eugene Borowitz, Contemporary Christologies: A Jewish Response (NY: Paulist, 1980)). By involving Jewish scholars from across a goodly percentage of the Jewish spectrum, Klenicki (Reform) brings together in one volume a representative sampling of informed Jewish opinion on the theological issues that unite, divide, and continue to challenge Jewish and Christian dialogical reflection in the waning days of the twentieth century of our relationship. Included are S. David Breslauer of the University of Kansas (Reform), David Dalin of the University of Hartford (Conservative), Elliot Dorff of the University of Judaism-LA (Conservative), Walter Jacob of CCAR, David Novak of the University of Virginia (Conservative), Norman Solomon of the Centre for the Study of Judaism at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England (Orthodox), and Michael Wyschogrod, Professor Emeritus of Baruch College, CUNY (Orthodox). If there ever is a group called together to issue a common Jewish response to the dialogue, this volume should be required reading.
Also from the Jewish side, Jacob Neusner (now of the University of South Florida) has become increasingly, and in my view helpfully, involved in the dialogue. Though never one to be accused of understating his positions, his works will reward careful and discerning reading. With due deference to Arthur Cohen, for example, Neusner"s Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition (London: SCM and Philadelphia: Trinity, 1991) argues forcefully that Jewish and Christian traditions represent "different people talking about different things to different people" over the centuries and hardly anything that can be characterized as a true dialogue such as we are at least striving for today. Similarly, Telling Tales: Making Sense of Christian and Judaic Nonsense (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993) delves through the history of Judeo-Christian "monologues" and seeks to discover for today "a Judaic way of telling the Christian tale of Jesus Christ" and "a Christian telling of the Judaic tale - Israel instead of Adam." Neusner remains capable of the well-turned phrase; e.g. "good will makes bigots into hypocrites" (p. 80). That line alone is worth the price of admission.
Harold Kasimov and Byron Sherwin have edited a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the dialogue continues to be profound. No Religion Is an Island: Abraham Joshua Heschel and Interreligious Dialogue (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991) begins with a moving foreword by Cardinal Johannes Willebrands recalling Heschel"s role at the time of the Second Vatican Council. There are also essays by his daughter, Susannah; Daniel Berrigan, with whom Heschel co-founded "Clergy Concerned about the War" in the mid- 1960s; John C. Bennett of Union Theological Seminary in New York; the late Jerzy Kosinski; Heschel scholar John C. Merkle of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN; Muslim scholar Riffat Hassan; Hindu Arvind Sharma, and myself among others.
Susannah Heschel and I also have essays in Clark Williamson"s A Mutual Witness: Toward Critical Solidarity Between Jews and Christians (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press), wich contains the papers and discussions from a 1991 conference at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A. Roy Eckardt and Williamson give Protestant responses to the theme question, "Is There a Christian Mission to the Jews?" Not surprisingly, though for different reasons and in different ways, the four of us answer "No" to the common question. The organizers perhaps unwittingly skewed the symmetry of the event and of the volume somewhat by inviting Jewish liberation theologian Marc H. Ellis of the Maryknoll School of Theology. Ellis, who has little time for any agenda item other than his own, declared the Jewish-Christian dialogue "dead" and went on to tell us how to go "beyond the ecumenical dialogue," which is to say to adopt his views as our own. Despite this distraction, there is much in the volume to challenge Christian thought on mission and evangelization.
Catholic scholar Gabriel Moran, who is professor of religious education at New York University, relentlessly pursues the concept of Uniqueness: Problem or Paradox in Jewish and Christian Traditions (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1992). More than simply a study in the language of dialogue, Moran probes what we mean by the use of the term in reference to revelation, covenant, holocaust and Christ. Frans Jozef van Beek, SJ, has written previously on Catholic identity. Now he attempts to make a contribution to the dialogue with Loving the Torah More than God? Towards a Catholic Appreciation of Judaism (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1989). The title is taken from a 1955 radio address by Emmanuel Levinas, which is here translated. Also published here, Zvi Kolitz" 1947 Holocaust "parable" Yossel Rakover"s Appeal to God. Beek adds his own spiritual reflection to those of Levinas to develop a powerful, short meditation that will be of interest to Jews as well as Christians.
Two volumes of more general theological reflection may be of interest in the context of this bibliographical survey. Francis A. Sullivan, SJ, Salvation Outside the Church? (Mahwah: Paulist, 1992) traces the history and various interpretations of the patristic phrase extra ecclesiam nulla salus over the centuries. This much misunderstood phrase (as late as the mid- 20th century Jesuit Father Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for teaching a literal interpretation of it) has been much abused by Christians. Sullivan here attempts to set the record straight. Maura O"Neill, Women Speaking, Women Listening: Women in Interreligious Dialogue (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 199-0) is not just about Jewish-Christian relations but aims, as its introduction states, "toward a genuine approach to religious pluralism" reflecting recent trends in epistemology, communication and value theory, and seeking to discern "Is religion liberating?" for women.
I will conclude this theological survey with reference to A. Roy Eckardt"s Reclaiming the Jesus of History: Christology Today (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992). Eckardt, one of the great pioneers of Christian-Jewish relations, here joins Paul van Buren in the effort to integrate perspectives gained from the dialogue into mainstream Systematic Theology. After some preliminaries, Eckardt presents and reflects upon "five historical images" of Jesus: "countercultural spiritualizer", "rejected advocate of Israel"s restoration"; "champion of Israel"; "Liberator of the Wretched"; and "Redeemer of Women." In "From Jesus to Christ" he discusses "the Christs of the Apostolic Writings"; engages in dialogue with van Buren, Paul F. Knitter, and John Macquarrie; and reviews and refines his controversial views on the Resurrection. Only someone who has spent a lifetime of quiet study and free-flowing debate could have produced this provocative and significant volume.
The "liberation theology" portion of this category comprises several volumes put out by Orbis Press. The involvement of liberation theologians in dialogue directly with Jews will be a very healthy development, although these works reflect the fact that this dialogue is just beginning. Otto Maduro, a Venezuelan theologian who teaches at Maryknoll, has edited Judaism, Christianity and Liberation (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991). Irving Greenberg, in one of the most honest "blurbs" I have yet seen on the back cover of a book, correctly calls it "unjust and one-sided in its treatment of Zionism (but) worthwhile reading." It is worthwhile for the insight it gives through reading the three Christian liberation theologians" essays (Leonardo Boff, Pablo Richard, and Julio de Santa Ana) that liberation theology really has little idea of Jews and Judaism beyond the bounds of the Hebrew Bible (which for them remains the "Old Testament"). It is worthwhile because the liberal Jewish Voices (Michael Lerner, Phyllis Taylor, Arthur Waskow) are true to form. And it is worthwhile because Richard Rubenstein, Dorothee Sölle and Norman Solomon cannot be uninteresting even when one disagrees. The book also contains essays by Rosemary Radford Ruether and Marc H. Ellis, about whom I have said enough above.
Dan Cohn-Sherbok of the University of Kent, Canterbury, attempts a more systematic theology of liberation for both Jews and Christians in On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Jews, Christians, and Liberation Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1987). How successful he is, I think, depends on one"s stance on the issues he raises. A rather typical example of the use of (some will say "abuse") of the Hebrew Bible for the purposes of Christian liberation theology is found in Shigeyuki Nakasone, Josiah Passover: Sociology and the Liberating Bible (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1993). Nakasone is a Catholic priest working in Brazil. One can only applaud the moral fervor of the author and the ongoing vitality of the Hebrew Bible and its ability to inspire generation after generation of Christians as well as Jews.
Of greater interest for the purpose of the dialogue are two books which collect essays by Jews, Christians and Palestinians actually living in Israel and the Territories. These are, first, Haim and Rivca Gordon"s Israel/Palestine: The Quest for Dialogue (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991). Unabashedly "Peace Now" in orientation, the volume introduces voices that have since become well-known outside of Israel. These include Shulamit Aloni, Faisal Husseini, Felicia Langer and Hanan Ashrawi. Catholic priest David Burrell, CSC, and Oz veShalom director Yehezkel Landau have jointly edited Voices from Jerusalem: Jews and Christians Reflect on the Holy Land (Mahwah: Paulist/Stimulus, 1992). While generally liberal in orientation, the spectrum of thought is wider than the books noted thus far in this section. Authors include Shahe Ajamian of the Armenian Church; Peter deBrul, SJ, of Bethlehem University; Marcel Dubois, OP, of Hebrew University; the late Andre Neher of Strasbourg University; Simon Schoon of Nes Ammim; and Ben Gurion University"s Pinchas Peli, of blessed memory.
To "balance the ticket" (as we also say here in my town of Washington, D.C.), I would recommend Cynthia Ozick"s more conservative collection of Jewish and Christian essays, The Middle East: Uncovering the Myths (New York: Anti Defamation League, 1991). The papers were prepared for a conference sponsored by Writers and Artists for Peace by Edward Alexander, Richard John Neuhaus, Daniel Pipes, Eugene V. Rostow and Ruth R. Wisse.
For the February, 1991, issue of Ecumenical Trends (Garrison, NY: Graymoor Ecumenical Institute, 10524) my colleague for Interreligious Relations here at the Conference, Dr. John Borelli, and I collaborated with Drs. Jay Rock and R. Marston Speight, our counterparts at the National Council of Churches, to produce "The Abrahamic Traditions in Trilateral Dialogue: A Selected Bibliography." The following items are excerpted from that article.
Raphael Bonanno, OFM, ea., Jews, Moslems and Christians: Children of God (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing House, 1988). Generally Christian, the materials here are most helpful as a beginning resource.
"Children of Abraham," Dialogue: A Journal of Theology (Vol. 29, Winter, 1990) is a special issue of the Lutheran quarterly.
A. Falturi, J. Petuchowski and W. Strolz, eds., Three Ways to the One God: The Faith Experience of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Crossroad, 1987) provides essays on the function of prophecy in the three traditions.
John Hick and E.S. Meltzer, eds., Three Faiths - One God: A Jewish, Christian, Muslim Encounter (SUNY Press, 1989) collects reflections on the respective views of God, the earth and humanity.
F.E. Peters, Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam (Princeton University Press, 1982), while mentioned in my 1989 bibliography for In Our Time, remains the best single volume introduction.
Peters" three-volume set, Judaism, Christianity and Islam: The Classical Texts and their Interpretation (Princeton University Press, 1990) arranges basic texts topically to demonstrate the kinds of issues that have been the concerns of the three communities through their histories.
David Burrell, CSC, and Bernard McGinn in God and Creation: An Ecumenical Symposium (University of Notre Dame Press, 1990) present papers on the doctrine of creation in the three traditions.
In addition to the above-mentioned volume by Burrell and Landau (which was essentially Jewish-Christian), one can cite for background reading Saul Colbi, A History of Christian Presence in the Holy Land (University Press of America, 1988), which concentrates mainly on the British Mandate period and was reviewed by our group as "helpful informth dn" but gives an incomplete picture.
F.E. Peters, Jerusalem the Holy City in the Eyes of Chroniclers, Visitors, Pilgrims and Prophets from the Days of Abraham to the Beginning of Modern Times (Princeton University Press, 1985), and Jerusalem and Mecca: The Typology of the Holy City in the Near East (New York University Press, 1986). N. Biggar, J. Scott, and Wm. Schweiker, eds., Cities of Gods: Faith, Politics and Pluralism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Greenwood, 1986) provide advanced reading in theology and politics.