Risk and Renewal in Christianity

Two of the most contested documents at Vatican Council II were the Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitas Humanae) and the Declaration on the Church’s Relationship with Non-Christians (Nostra Aetate). At various moments in the course of the Council it appeared that either or both these documents might be stricken from the agenda. The basic reason for the controversy surrounding these texts is not hard to fathom.

Risk and Renewal in Christianity

Two of the most contested documents at Vatican Council II were the Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitas Humanae) and the Declaration on the Church’s Relationship with Non-Christians (Nostra Aetate). At various moments in the course of the Council it appeared that either or both these documents might be stricken from the agenda. The basic reason for the controversy surrounding these texts is not hard to fathom. Their opponents rightly saw that each of these documents represented a fundamental challenge to what were regarded as long-held Catholic beliefs. For nearly a century certain popes and theologians had proclaimed the notion of religious liberty a “satanic” idea. And the belief that collective Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ had led to the expulsion of the People of Israel from the covenantal relationship with God and their replacement in that covenant by the church, “the new People of God,” exercised a decisive influence on the formation of Catholic ecclesiological self-identity. The strong assertion of religious liberty as a fundamental tenet of Catholic belief in Dignitas Humanae and the affirmation of continued Jewish covenantal inclusion in chapter four of Nostra Aetate was viewed as a threat to traditional Catholic faith expression. Fortunately both these documents survived the conciliar process and both have significantly influenced the public face of Catholicism since their passage. While they have assisted significantly in the renewal of Catholic faith expression that undergird the vision of the Council they have generated certain risks and challenges that have yet to be fully answered.

In an address to the Catholic Theological society of America in 1986 in Chicago the Canadian theologian Gregory Baum, a peritas at the council and a person who had a direct hand in preparing the original draft of Nostra Aetate argued that chapter four of Nostra Aetate represented the most radical change in the ordinary magisterium of the church to emerge from Vatican II.1 It struck at the very heart of classical expressions of ecclesiology and Christology within Catholicism. And Dignitas Humanae, with its unbending affirmation of religious liberty rooted in the notion of fundamental human dignity, appeared to place such dignity ahead of truth in the Catholic theological perspective. In the mind of some these fundamental perspectival changes might well soften Catholic faith commitment and lead to indifferentism and a superficial form of pluralism. Today we see resurgence of such questions in certain quarters of the Catholic community as it struggles to keep faith alive and vibrant in an increasingly secular setting in human society. Can we redefine Catholic belief in the radical manner of Dignitas Humanae and Nostra Aetate while maintaining a strong allegiance to that belief? On the other hand, what is the downside of trying to protect an “insular” faith which claims exclusive access to the full truth and emphasizes the superiority of one’s own tradition over all others? These questions remain basic to the interreligious discussion today, and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future. This certainly impacts the Christian-Jewish and the Christian-Muslim dialogues which, in differing ways, remain the principal dialogues for Christianity given their rootage in partially shared texts and in the context of covenantal relationships.

From the Christian side a number of other issues will certainly challenge the churches as result of the dialogue with Judaism. The first will be the need to deal with the dark side of the church’s record with respect to Jews throughout history, in particular during the Nazi era. For those who put a strong emphasis on the church as a transhistoical, transcendental reality apart from history this can prove trying theologically. A number of Catholic episcopal conferences, the French in particular in their declaration of repentance in September 1997 as well as the Germans in 19952 have acknowledged corporate Christian failure during the time of the Holocaust. Pope John Paul II also gave personal support to such moves in the liturgy of confession and reconciliation which took place at the Vatican on the first Sunday of Lent 2000. He added to this initial witness when during his historic visit to Jerusalem he placed the same statement of repentance for Christian antisemitism in the city’s sacred Western Wall.

John Paul II seemed keenly ware that if the church were to remain a legitimate voice for justice and solidarity in the global society of the new millennium it must first come to terms with its endorsement of violence over the centuries, especially against the Jewish People. For John Paul II the church was very much a reality “within history” though with a central transcendental dimension. So for him confronting the historical record of the church was a crucial step in strengthening the dialogue with Jews and Judaism which assumed such a central place in his papacy. Understanding the church’s holiness would need to include integration of its flawed dimension.

John Paul II’s effort to confront the church’s legacy of antisemitism and violence against other groups did not win applause from everyone in the church. One of the principal opponents of these acts of repentance was in fact Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in his role as head of the Vatican’s office on doctrinal matters known s CDF. Ratzinger’s ecclesiology was far more transcendental in nature and has never been rooted in the vision laid out in the II Vatican Council’s document Gaudium Spes on the church in the modern world. Ratzinger has never regarded the church as being affected at its core by negative realities in history. For him such acts of repentance can undermine the integrity and authenticity of the church and weaken the deposit of truth that it can, and must, continue to offer humanity.

While the difference between John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI should not be overstated as John Paul II also argued at times for an inviolable core to the church “the church as such”), a definite contrast is clearly evident, as pope. Benedict XVI has shown little interest in making the gestures of repentance that loomed large for John Paul II. In several situations since his election to the papacy an opportunity presented itself to follow the path laid out by his predecessor. Instead he chose to walk down a different one.

In his visit to the synagogue in Cologne during World Youth gathering in the Summer of 2005 and in his statement at the Birkenau extermination camp in late May 2006 he certainly acknowledged the horrors of the Holocaust. He made his own the words of John Paul II spoken in January 2005 on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp of which Birkenau is considered an integral part. “I bow my head before all those who experienced this manifestation of the mysterium iniquitatis.” The terrible events of this period, the Pope continued, “must never cease to rouse conscience, to resolve conflicts to inspire the building of peace.”3 There is little doubt that Pope Benedict views the Holocaust as one of the darkest moments in European history. In his remarks t a general audience on November 30, 2005, he termed the Holocaust as “an infamous project of death.”4 More recently , om the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, he once again expressed horror over the sufferings endured by Jews under Hitler and rededicated himself to combating any continued manifestation of antisemitism.5

But when we come to a discussion of the root causes of the Holocaust, Pope Benedict tends to part company with John Paul II. In part this may be due to their differing personal experiences of the Nazi period. As Cardinal Ratzinger, Benedict XVI did give some indication of an understanding of the link between traditional Christian antisemitism and the ability of the Nazis to carry out their program of Jewish extermination. In a front page article in the December 19, 2000, issue of L’Ossrvatore Romano, he argued that “it cannot be denied that a certain insufficient resistance to this atrocity on the part of Christians can be explained by the inherited anti-Judaism in the hearts of not a few Christians.”6 But this remains a rather isolated text. Overall, Pope Benedict has tended to present the Holocaust as primarily, even exclusively, a neo-pagan phenomenon which had no roots in Christianity but instead constituted a fundamental challenge to all religious belief, including Christianity.

No reputable scholar on the Holocaust would deny its neo-pagan roots nor its fundamental opposition to all religious perspectives. But equally reputable scholars, and I count myself among them, would insist on surfacing the Holocaust’s links with classical antisemitism. The Holocaust succeeded in a culture that supposedly was deeply impacted by Christian values for centuries. Much of the Nazi anti-Jewish legislation replicated laws against Jews existing in Christian dominated societies since medieval times. I have always opposed drawing a straight line between classical Christian antisemitism and the Holocaust. Clearly it was influenced by modern philosophy and modern racial biology. But we cannot obfuscate the fact that traditional Christianity provided an indispensable seedbed for the widespread support, or at least acquiescence, on the part of large numbers of baptized Christians during the Nazi attack on the Jews and other marginalized groups. Christian antisemitism definitely had a major role in undergirding Nazism in its extermination of the Jews and perhaps also in the Nazi treatment of other groups such as the disabled, the Roma and Sinti (i.e., Gypsies) and gay people.

In his Cologne and Birkenau addresses Pope Benedict seemed to be supporting an interpretation of the Holocaust which presents it solely as an attack on religion in all its forms rather than a phenomenon that drew strongly on a previous antisemitic base at the heart of Christianity. His remarks can leave the impression, intended or not, that the Holocaust was simply the result of secularizing modern forces in Europe at the time of the Nazis and not dissimilar from the secularizing forces that affect Europe today in particular and which as Cardinal Ratzinger and now as Pope he has strongly attacked. The fact that in neither the Cologne nor the Birkenau addresses is there any reference made to the official 1998 Vatican document on the Holocaust We Remember nor to the earlier national bishops’ statements cited above tends to confirm this interpretation of Pope Benedict’s perspective. Meira Schere-Emunds, in an article in U.S. Catholic magazine described the papal visit to the synagogue in Cologne as a “milestone” but also a “missed opportunity” because of the Pope’s failure to deal forthrightly with Christian culpability during the Nazi era.7

In my mind there is little question that the greatest challenge posed to Christians within a dialogue with Judaism is coming to grips with its history of antisemitism. The late Pole John Paul II defined antisemitism as a sin on several occasions.8 So t he church will need to commit to a complete and honest evaluation of its record in this regard. We do have a model for such ecclesial self-examination, one praised by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago in his major address at Hebrew University on March 23, 2959.9 Bernardin highlighted the effort undertaken by the archdiocese of Lyon, France, where the cardinal in that city gave strong support to a thorough investigation of archdiocesan records during the Nazi period by respected scholars. Bernardin insisted that such investigations were crucial for the church to enter dialogue with Jews with credibility as well as for its ability to speak to major issues of our day in global society. Bernardin’s words remain prophetic. It certainly will not prove easy for institutional Catholicism to undertake such a comprehensive self-examination. But it has little choice in my judgment. What occurred in Lyon must become commonplace, including at the level of the Vatican, if the church is to have an authentic moral voice in society.

The second major challenge facing Christianity in its dialogue with Judaism has to do with the church’s traditional claim to finality and universality with regard to the Christ Event. I have always argued that the Christian-Jewish dialogue is in many ways the most difficult of the contemporary interreligious dialogues because it touches directly upon the very nerve center of the Christian faith—Christology. For centuries Christianity has argued that with the appearance of Christ Judaism lost any real significance as a religious faith. The Jewish People were replaced in the covenantal relationship with God by the church. The biblical scholar Martin Noth succinctly expressed this perspective which dominated in many quarters of Christianity: “Jesus…himself no longer formed part of the history of Israel. In him the history of Israel had come, rather, to its real end. What did belong to the history of Israel was the process of rejection and condemnation by the Jerusalem religious community. … Hereafter the history of Israel moved quickly to its end.”10

Chapter four of Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate and parallel documents from other Christian denominations totally reversed this classical understanding regarding the Jewish People. In reaffirming Jewish covenantal inclusion against centuries of belief on the part of Christians in Jewish covenantal exclusion, these documents challenged the core of Christian belief. If Jews remain in a covenantal relationship from a Christian theological perspective, what are the implications of such a perspective for classical notions of finality and universality through the coming of Christ? Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, has argued that while Jews are to be seen as standing within the covenant and hence do not need to be proselytized a universal significance must be maintained for the Christ Event.11 But Cardinal Kasper himself has not thus far developed the fundamental assertion in any depth, though he has given his personal encouragement and support to a group of Christian theologians currently working on this issue within the framework of the Christ and the Jewish People Consultations.12 He personally participated in the opening session of this consultation hear Rome.

This fundamental theological challenge resulting from the Christian theological affirmation of the continuity of the Jewish covenant will have to be done with great care. Core beliefs cannot be tampered with in a superficial manner. But the reflections that the Christ and the Jewish People Consultation has launched will need to become a central discussion within Christian theological circles. Some similar discussions have now also begun within the context of the Catholic Theological society of the United States and Canada. In short, such reflections must become a mainstream issue within the churches and not relegated only to specifically dialogical discussions.

If Christian theology continues to work within the framework of a single covenantal model, as Kasper insists it must, is it possible to assert the existence of distinctive, though not totally distinct, paths within such a framework? And if so, are the distinctive paths of Jews and Christians towards ultimate salvation on an equal footing or does the Jewish path, while distinctive, ultimately fall under the sway of the Christian path and require an ex[licit recognition of Christ at some point? Or might there be a way of theologically stating the ultimate integration of these distinctive paths without employing expressly Christological language? Does Christ in the end bring the salvation of all people, including Jews, but it is not necessary for Jews to acknowledge expressly this reality from a Christian perspective?13 These questions remain preliminary but central in any attempt to integrate Christianity’s reaffirmation of Jewish covenantal inclusion into its fundamental Christological belief.

An important theological statement that came from the Catholic-Jewish dialogue in the United States is the document Reflections on Covenant and Mission,14 along with a parallel statement from the ecumenical Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations entitled A Sacred Obligation.15 The first document emerged from an ongoing dialogue between the U.S. Bishops Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the National Council of Synagogues. It had a companion statement from the Jewish perspective which generally has been put aside as of inferior quality. While only a study document (it was misrepresented in the official press release from the U.S. Bishops Conference as a more authoritative piece), it was intended in part as a response to Cardinal Kasper’s call for national episcopal conferences to pursue the Christian-Jewish theological relationship in lieu of any imminent statement from Rome on the matter.

Both Reflections on Covenant and Mission and A Sacred Obligation (which was intended in part as a response to the groundbreaking Jewish document on Christianity, Dabru Emet) affirm the continuing validity of the Jewish covenant and argue that issues related to Christology and to the evangelization of Jews need considerable rethinking in light of the scholarship that has come forth as a result of forty years of dialogue.

Some very negative reactions ensued regarding Reflections on Covenant and Mission in particular from the likes of Cardinal Avery Dulles and the congregation for the Doctrine of faith.16 But the document has also received considerable praise from Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy in his volume reflecting on his work as President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. While not embracing Reflections on Covenant and Mission in every aspect, Cardinal Cassidy terms the statement “an encouraging response that marks a significant step forward in the dialogue, especially in the United States.”17

The quite different perspectives on Reflections on Covenant and Mission on the part of Cardinals Dulles and Cassidy are a clear illustration of the deep chord within Christian dogma that the fundamental rethinking of the Christian-Jewish relationship begun over forty years ago has struck. This controversy will likely not be put to rest any time soon. It remains a central theological challenge that the church cannot ignore if it wishes to be serious about building a new relationship with the Jewish People.

A third challenging development that has emerged from Christianity's dialogue with Judaism is the reintegration of Jesus and the early church within the wide tent that constituted the Jewish People in the first and second centuries of the common era. The "Parting of the Ways" discussion, as it is often called, presently underway among individual scholars as well as in more structured groups within the Society of Biblical Literature and the ongoing Princeton-Oxford universities working team has tended to push back the date for significant separation between the church and the Jewish People well beyond the end of the first century and even later as we move to the Christian East. And even when the separation did occur this scholarship has brought forth evidence of some continuing constructive intervention. To emphasize this point one important collection of essays looking at this question has been titled The Ways That Never Parted.18

One of the best summaries of initial conclusions from the "Parting of the Ways" scholarship has come from Robin Scroggs.19 His analysis was favorably quoted by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in his own writings.20

Scroggs made the following affirmations in his distillation of the new scholarship on Jesus' relationship with Judaism. (1) The movement begun by Jesus and continued after his death in Palestine can best be described as a reform movement within Judaism. There is little extant evidence during this period that Christians had a separate identity from Jews. (2) The Pauline missionary movement, as Paul understood it, was a Jewish mission which focused on the Gentiles as the proper object of God's call to his people. (3) Prior to the end of the Jewish war with the Romans which ended in 70 C.E., there was no such reality as Christianity. Followers of Jesus did not have a self-understanding of themselves as a religion over against Judaism. A distinctive Christian identity only began to emerge after the Jewish-Roman war. And (4) the later sections of the New Testament all show some signs of a movement towards separation, but they also generally retain some contact with their Jewish matrix.

Scroggs' first point in particular opens the door to the need for a profound reevaluation of the church's origins. The biblical scholar John Meier in the third volume of his comprehensive study of New Testament understandings of Jesus argues that from a careful examination of the New Testament evidence Jesus must be seen as presenting himself to the Jewish community of his time as an eschatological prophet and miracle worker in the likeness of Elijah. He was not interested in creating a separatist sect or holy remnant along the lines of the Qumran sect. But he did envision the development of a special religious community within Israel. The idea that this community "within Israel would solely undergo a process of separation from Israel as it pursued a mission to the Gentiles in this present world—the long-term result being that his community would become predominantly Gentile itself—finds no place in Jesus' message or practice."21 And David Frankfurter has insisted that within the various "clusters” of groups that included Jews and Christian Jews there existed a "mutual influence persisting through LATE ANTIQUITY There is evidence for a degree of overlap that, all things considered, threatens every construction of an historically distinct ‘Christianity’ before at least the mid-second century."22

The growing number of biblical scholars who have become engaged in this "Parting of the Ways" discussion all stress the great difficulty in locating Jesus within a ever-changing Jewish context in the first century. Some speak of "Judaisms" and "Christianities" in the period, almost all involving some mixture of continued Jewish practice with new insights drawn from the ministry and preaching of Jesus. For scholars such as Paula Fredriksen even speaking of "the parting of the ways" is unhelpful because it implies two solid blocks of believers.23 The various groups in fact were entangled for at least a couple of centuries. So, as Daniel Boyarin has rightly insisted, we cannot speak of Judaism as the "mother' or the "elder brother" of Christianity.24 Rather what eventually came to be known as Judaism and Christianity in the common era resulted from a complicated "co-emergence" over an extended period of time during which various views of Jesus became predominantly associated with one or two focal points. Many factors contributed to this eventual differentiation including Roman retaliation against "the Jews" for the late first century revolt against its occupation of Palestine and the development of a strong "against the Jews" teaching during the patristic era. The "conversion" of Emperor Constantine also proved decisive for the eventual split into two distinctive religious communities.

Clearly this new scholarship poses considerable challenges for two central aspects of Christian theology: Christolgy and ecclesiology. How do we integrate a profoundly Jewish Jesus into Christological Understanding and how we do articulate the origins of the church. Surely we can no longer glibly assert that "Christ founded the church" in his own lifetime if we take seriously, as I believe we must, that the church evolved out of Judaism quite gradually over a couple of centuries and that there was no distinct religious body called "church" in Jesus' own lifetime and for decades thereafter. Some in the church would argue that historical research has little affect on basic credal beliefs. While I certainly hold that faith is more than a matter of the historical record, I equally remain convinced that it cannot continue unaffected by profound changes in the historical record of the magnitude emerging from the research of the "parting of the ways" movement.

The final challenge emerging for Christian theology from the new encounter with Jews and Judaism is the issue of mission. Clearly this is an extremely sensitive topic for both partners in the dialogue. On the Christian side mission has been central to the church's identity since its inception. On the Jewish side mission is seen to be a very attack on the continuation of the Jewish people, in effect a far more subtle but no less real attempt at genocide. Within Christianity the question of mission in light of the new encounter with Jews and Judaism has been raised for several decades. The Italian lay scholar Tomasso Federici called for a termination of proselytizing of Jews in the late 1970s in an address to the Intemational Vatican-Jewish dialogue meeting in Venice. And the ecumenical Christian statement A Sacred Obligation issued in 2002 repeated Federici's call. Cardinal Walter Kasper has added his voice to this discussion as well, arguing that because Jews are considered to remain in a covenantal relationship with God and possess authentic revelation from the Christian theological perspective there is no need to proselytize Jews: "if they (i.e., the Jews) follow their own conscience and believe in God's promises as they understand them in their religious tradition they are in line with God's plan.."25 While allowing for personal conversions either way in the Christian-Jewish context I would support this approach to mission and the Jews while acknowledging that a full development of this view requires further amplification.

In the end dialogue in very much an encounter of religious peoples not merely religious ideas, though ideas naturally remain important. And such encounters have convinced me that I cannot claim my religious experience in and through belief in Christ is automatically superior to that of my Jewish dialogue partners. We may not as yet have a fully convincing argument on the rational level for such a stance but the experience of profound spirituality in the Jewish partner obligates me to renounce any attempt to convert that partner.

Admittedly such a posture is soundly resisted by some in the church. Both Cardinals Avery Dulles and Christoph Schonbom argued for the absolute necessity of a mission to the Jews even though Schonborm would develop a special catechesis for Jewish conversion because of the Judaism's unique relationship with Christianity.26 Their position is contradicted by Cardinal Walter Kasper's recent interpretation of the new Good Friday prayer for the Tridentine liturgy composed by Pope Benedict XVI, an interpretation which Kasper has claimed is supported by Pope Benedict himself, as entirely eschatological in nature with no implications for concrete evangelization of the Jews in the meantime. If it is indeed the fact that the Pope supports Kasper's perspective, then Dulles and Schonborn are out of step on the question of mission to the Jews with the papal position.

But there is little question that such a stance relative to mission and the Jews strikes at the very heart of classical Christian faith. So it likely will remain a disputed question for the forseeable future despite Kasper's claim of papal approbation for his view on the matter. While only Jews thus far have been removed from the evangelization list by religious leaders such as Kasper their removal does open the door to a wider discussion of evangelization within the church. Without doubt all people of faith, Christians included, have an obligation to explain to their partners in dialogue how their basic faith perspectives impact their religious identity and how they relate to others. Yet we must seriously ask whether any organized effort at evangelization is in fact a statement that the religious other is automatically inferior as a person.

Most of this essay has focused on the challenges facing Christians in the light of the new dialogue with Jews and Judaism. There are certainly challenges for Jews as well. These include probing how the newly defined Jewishness of Jesus by contemporary scholarship affects Jewish perceptions of Jesus and how Jews might respond to the new Christian theological affirmation of bonding with Jews. Bonding does in fact demand some reciprocal understanding of its reality. Additionally Jews need to examine more deeply how the enhanced understanding of the New Testament's Jewish context affects their perception of its significance for contemporary Jewish self-understanding. Many Jews have tried to keep a strong barrier between the Christian and Jewish religious vision lest bringing Christianity in close proximity to Judaism undercut Jewish commitment and open the door to Christian missionizing efforts. So the new Christian perception of its strong positive links to Judaism does present a significant challenge for Jewish religious thought as well. And, while there is no parallel in terms of actual impact within society with classical Christian antisemitism, negative images of Jesus in Jewish religious literature need to be addressed by Jewish leaders and scholars. Peter Schafer's volume Jesus in the Talmud unquestionably offers the most thorough exposition of this material.27 Certainly Christian attacks on the Jews throughout the centuries by church leaders and preachers instigated much of this material. Nonetheless, to clean the slate for authentic dialogue today, the Jewish community must acknowledge responsibility for this negative portrayal. As the perceptive Jewish scholarly contributor to the contemporary Jewish-Christian conversation David Novak put it in his review of Jesus in the Talmud,


...Schafer's very original scholarship might have the effect of ending the 'guilt trip' that some Jews have laid on Christians, according to which theological contempt and religious intolerance is a uniquely Christian problem .... Reading Jesus in the Talmud might well provide Western readers, who live by either the Talmud or the New Testament and who want to live in peace and maybe even trust with their closest historical philosophical neighbors, with a great intellectual challenge. The sources that Schafer adduces are virulent and dangerous, but his analysis of them leaves one unexpectedly full of hope.28


To conclude this presentation I would briefly turn to more positive aspects of the question at hand. Beyond the challenges that continue to face Jews and Christians as they attempt to move their dialogue to a new level, it is also evident that positive dimensions can emerge. For Christians a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the Jewish context of the teachings of Jesus and early Christianity can unlock new insights into the understanding of God's relationship to humanity and to the nature of Christian ministry, the nature of the church and its liturgical practice.. For Jews there is the possibility of an enhanced appreciation of sacramentality, as Irving Greenberg has argued, and an improved understanding of the Judaism of the first century, as Alan Segal has maintained. Addressing the remaining challenges will continue to require determination and goodwill on both sides. But the recognition that enhanced spiritual richness can result for each community through a response to these challenges ought to provide the necessary motivation to continue the process.


  1. Gregory Baum, “The Social Context of American Catholic Theology”, Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America, 41 (1986): 87.
  2. For the texts of these statements as well as others from the Swiss, American, Italian, Hungarian, Polish and Dutch Bishops, cf. Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, National Conference of Catholic Bishops,Catholics Remember the Holocaust (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1988).
  3. Pope Benedict XVI, "Visit to Cologne Synagogue,” Origins 35:12 (September 1, 2005): 206.
  4. Pope Benedict XVI's October 26, 2005, Message to Cardinal Kasper is available on the website of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, www.bc.edu/research/cjl
  5. Cf. Zenit Press Service, November 9, 2008.
  6. As quoted in Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, Rediscovering Vatican II: Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue-Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate (New York/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2005, 249.
  7. Meinrad Scherer-Edmunds, “Never Again! The Pope's Visit to the Cologne Synagogue was both a milestone and a missed opportunity”, U.S. Catholic, 70:11 (November 2005): 50.
  8. Pope John Paul II, “The Sinfulness of Antisemitism”, Origins, 23:13 (September 5 1991): 204; Crossing the Threshold, ed. Vittorio Messori (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994,) 96.
  9. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, “Anti-Semitism: The Historical Legacy and the Continuing Challenge for Christians”, A Blessing to Each Other. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Jewish-Catholic Dialogue (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1996), 159.
  10. Martin Noth, The Laws in the Pentateuch and Other Studie. (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1966), 75.
  11. Cardinal Walter Kasper's Boston College address can be found on the website of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College (www.cjlring c@bc.edu). Also cf. Cardinal Walter Kasper, “The Good Olive Tree”, America 185:7 (September 17, 2001) y “Christians, Jews and the Thorny Question of Mission”, Origins 32:28 (December 19, 2002).
  12. The Christ and the Jewish People Consultation is an international group of Christian scholars supported by the Pontifical Gregorian University, Boston College, Catholic Theological Union and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven with the encouragement of Cardinal Walter Kasper who study basic Christian doctrines in light of the ongoing dialogue with the Jewish People.
  13. For more on this discussion, cf. John Pawlikowski, “Christology and the Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Personal Theological Journey”, Irish Theological Quarterly, 72:2 (2007): 147-167.
  14. “Reflections on Covenant and Mission, by Participants in a Dialogue Between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the National Council of Synagogues”, Origins 32:13 (5 de septiembre de 2002): 218-224.
  15. For the statement with commentary, cf. Mary C. Boys, ed., Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).
  16. Cardinal Avery Dulles, “Evangelization and the Jews”, with a response by Mary C. Boys, Philip A. Cunningham y John T. Pawlikowski, America 187:12 (October 21, 2002): 8-16.
  17. Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, Ecumenism and lnterreligious Dialogue: Unitatis Reintegratio, Nostra Aetate (New York: Paulist, 2005), 252.
  18. Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiro Reed, eds. The Ways That Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Texts and Studies in Judaism #95 (Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2003).
  19. Robin Scroggs, “The Judaizing of the New Testament”, Chicago Theological Seminary Register (Winter 1986): 1.
  20. Cf. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, A Blessing to Each Other, 78-79.
  21. John P. Meier, Companions and Competitors (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 251.
  22. David Frankfurter, “Beyond ‘Jewish-Christianity’: Continuing Religious sub-cultures of the second and third centuries and their documents”, in Adam H. Becker and Annette Yoshiro Reed, eds., The Ways That Never Parted, 132.
  23. Paula Fredriksen, “What ‘Parting of the Ways’? Jews, Gentiles, and the ancient Mediterranean City”, ibíd., 35-64.
  24. Daniel Boyarin, “Semantic Differences on ‘Judaism/Christianity’”, ibíd., 65-86.
  25. Cf. Note 11.
  26. For the Dulles article, cf. Note 16; Christoph Schönborn, “Judaism's Way to Salvation”, The Tablet, March 29, 2008.
  27. Peter Schafer, Jesus in the Talmud. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).
  28. The New Republic, August 6, 2007.