Stars in the Night: Abraham Geiger and Leo Baeck as Precursors of Jewish-Catholic Dialogue
Karl Cardinal Lehmann
Address upon receiving the Abraham Geiger Prize from Abraham Geiger College (rabbinical seminary),
University of Potsdam
Berlin, March 20, 2006
Seldom have I been so surprised and honoured as by the decision to award me
the Abraham Geiger Prize. All the greater is my gratitude to those responsible for
the decision, above all the Abraham Geiger College at the University of Potsdam
and its principal, Rabbi Dr. Walter Homolka. I am pleased to be able to briefly
explain what this honour means to me.
Let me begin with the name of the man for whom the prize is named. Abraham
Geiger, who was born on 24 May 1810 in Frankfurt am Main and died on 23
October 1874 in Berlin, is mainly known for his efforts to give shape to liberal
Judaism that arose in the course of the 19th century. He grew up in an orthodox
family and received a traditional Talmudic education. While pursuing his
education, mainly at Bonn University, he showed a growing inclination to
adapt Judaism to the modern age. For him this did not mean a rejection of
Judaism as it had existed in the past, but rather a rediscovery of original
tendencies that he saw in its monotheism and ethics. While the Greeks had
contributed the spirit of philosophy to Western civilization, the Jews had
given the Western world the “religious spirit,” which had provided a firm
foundation for ethics. He was also convinced that over the centuries this
living faith had lost some of its strength as a result of the strict Talmudic focus
on the law. This basic attitude had been cemented by the ghetto imposed on
the Jews through Christian intolerance. We know that Abraham Geiger had
noted such basic attitudes in the conflict between the Pharisees and the
Sadducees.1 Geiger was convinced that the Pharisees had interpreted the Bible
in the spirit of their time, while the Sadducees were caught up in the letter of
Abraham Geiger showed a decided preference in the liturgy for the German
language. Despite a somewhat brusque manner – as shown in his criticism of the
dietary laws, for example – he always adopted a moderate attitude to his own
tradition. “Within the reform movement Geiger occupied a middle-of-the-road
position, mediating between the more radical endeavours of Samuel Holdheim
and Kaufmann Kohler on the one hand, and the conservative, proto-nationalist
groupings represented by Zacharias Frankl and Heinrich Graetz, on the other.”2
Finally, Abraham Geiger was an extremely capable historian, whose research gave
fresh impetus not only into rabbinical Judaism, but also into early Christianity.
Nor is his significance confined to these fields. His works demonstrating the
influence of rabbinical literature on the text of the Koran have just been
reissued. 3 In his view, Islam was not the product of heretical Christian groups,
but a product of Judaism. Judaism, not Christianity, was the foundation of
In Abraham Geiger’s eyes, Jesus was a liberal Pharisee. He did not see Jesus as
expressing any new ideas. He did not discard any elements of Judaism.
Christianity only really began when Paul obscured the exemplary monotheism of
Jesus’ words and actions by the adoption of heretical thinking. Whatever one
may say about these conclusions today, it cannot be denied that Abraham
Geiger broke significant ground toward research into the historical Jesus –
especially in the context of contemporary Judaism – which has given food
for thought not only to today’s researchers, but also to those engaged in the
Abraham Geiger was an archetypical founding figure who provided a host of
inspiration. This applies particularly to the effect of his prayer book, which
became the basis of the liturgy in Reform communities worldwide. He was
firmly convinced that Judaism had to face up unreservedly to the modern age in
order to survive. It is quite certain that this courage to preserve the past by
engaging in creative dialogue with the present made him one of the great
shapers of Reform Judaism. Hence it was only logical that in 1871, after a long
period of suspicion, he should have been appointed to a post at the Hochschule
für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin. And today it is only right that the
Abraham Geiger College, as that institution's heir, should bear his name. I should
like to close this section by quoting Rabbi Leo Trepp: “It must be emphasized that
Geiger backed his own reforms to the hilt, regarding them as essential to Jews’
survival... Geiger [was] an enthusiastic Jew whose reforms were designed to
reinvigorate Judaism and dissuade Jews from conversion.” 5
The Abraham Geiger College and the Abraham Geiger Prize have manifold links
with the name of one of the greatest rabbis and scholars. I refer to Leo Baeck,
who was born on 23 May 1873 in Lissa (Posen Province) and died on 2 November
1956 in London. Albert Friedlander described him as a “paradigm of German
Judaism in the 20th century.” 6 In the period between the Kaiser’s Germany
and the Nazi dictatorship he was in many respects a figure of paramount
importance, as a rabbi, a scholar and, finally, as a pastor for many who suffered
political persecution. His work Das Wesen des Judentums (The Essence of
Judaism),7 seen mainly as a riposte to Adolf von Harnack’s Das Wesen des
Christentums (The Essence of Christianity),8 established him as an outstanding
interpreter and spokesman of a modern, self-confident Judaism.
Baeck’s life and importance as a scholar cannot be examined in detail here. His
brilliant apologia for the Jewish faith not only gave the Jewish minority cultural
self-confidence in the face of the temptation to convert under the pressure of
anti-Semitism, but also declared Judaism the “religion of the future” by referring
to its religious and ethical superiority. This basic text of 20th century Jewish
liberalism seeks to explain why Judaism became such a great force in world
history and how the latter is inconceivable without it. It is not a particularist
religion of laws, but a profoundly universalist faith. “At the heart of the Jewish
religion there is neither dogma nor religious inwardness, but the moral deed as
a response to God’s will as revealed in the commandment and aimed at justice
in the world.”9 Sometimes Leo Baeck’s focus on the viability of Judaism in
everyday life has been misinterpreted as a fading out of the spiritual. But he was
very well aware of the necessary dimensions of devotion and prayer, the
observance of feast days, and all forms of religious life. Admittedly, he was
imbued with confidence that the fulfilment of God’s will was a real possibility.
Thus Das Wesen des Judentums ends with a rousing call for its “preservation.”
He is concerned with the preservation of Jewish identity, but also with leading
an exemplary life in keeping with the moral and religious ideal upon which alone
this identity rests. “And so indeed Judaism was, and continued to be: the non-antique
in the ancient world, the unmodern in the modern world. Such was to be
the essence of the Jew: history’s great non-conformist, its great dissenter. That
was what he was there for. This was why his struggle for his religion had to be
a struggle for his self-preservation. There was no notion of power in this, but of
the antithesis of power – it was a question not of power, but of individuality, of
personality as laid down by the Eternal Will. It was a question not of power, but
of strength. Jewish existence lived in the world as strength, and strength was
This greatness was demonstrated by Leo Baeck in a very special way when
Germany entered the darkest period in its history. In January 1943 he was
deported to Theresienstadt, where he devoted himself entirely to pastoral tasks.
Until the liberation in 1945 he helped by means of numerous lectures to
strengthen the inmates’ will to survive. It was a unique form of resistance
against the inhumanity of the Nazis. In Theresienstadt he also wrote a book
called Dieses Volk. Jüdische Existenz (This People: Jewish Existence), frequent
revisions of which held up its publication until 1955. It told of the path taken by the Jewish people throughout history and, while painfully aware of the suffering undergone, nevertheless ended with a chapter entitled “Hope.” He could only
reach this conclusion because he believed that God’s covenant with his chosen
people continued to thrive. Its leitmotiv was: “This people is part of a covenant
that embraces all peoples on earth.” The clear conclusion is that Leo Baeck has
a place in the history of 20th century Judaism that can hardly be overestimated.
And yet I have not said anything of his numerous public functions after the war
in London, where he spent the remainder of his life. His great biographer Albert
H. Friedlander writes: “Right from the start Leo Baeck was for me the central
figure who decisively influenced my understanding of Judaism... he became a
witness of how the German Jews descended into the depths of Hell. More than
just a teacher and academic... he was, and remained, a star in the night.”11 Thus
Leo Trepp writes: “Through his steadfastness and courage in the Nazi period Leo
Baeck (1873-1956) has earned an immortal place in Jewish history.”12 Hence it is
only natural that the Central Council of Jews in Germany has been awarding the
Leo Baeck Prize for 50 years, that the headquarters of the Central Council should
be called the “Leo-Baeck-Haus,” and that we are now celebrating the setting up
of the Leo Baeck Foundation, which is to make an important contribution in
support of the Abraham Geiger College.
Leo Baeck has also been a source of inspiration for the Jewish-Christian
dialogue on many different levels. 13 He repeatedly referred to the Jewish roots of
Christian thinking, recognizing Jesus as an important Jewish figure and seeing
the gospels as a part of Jewish history. His characterization of Judaism as the
“classical” and Christianity as the “romantic” religion is a classification which I
am not alone in finding inadequate. But the area marked out by these two terms
is still a wide one. More important and longer-lasting is the inspiration he gave
for a close examination of Christian roots in the context of the Jewish soil from
which they sprang, an inspiration felt even to this day.
Christianity itself is inconceivable without its origins in the people of Israel. One
need only think, for example, of John 4:22: “For salvation is of the Jews.” And the
well-known passages in chapters 9-11 of the Epistle to the Romans which state
quite clearly: “Thou bearest not the root, but the root thee” (Romans 11:18).
Incidentally, one can neither delete nor ignore the New Testament passages that
are critical of the Jews. They need careful interpretation today. The Holocaust
undeniably opened our eyes once more to anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism.
It changed the perception of biblical texts, thus exerting an important
hermeneutical function in the process of interpreting these texts. The whole
history of the estrangement between the Church and Judaism is a burden which
today’s churches cannot simply shake off. The weight of history is too great.
Anti-Semitism remains a problem.
Despite many birth pangs the Second Vatican Council succeeded in issuing an
epoch-making text on the relationship between Judaism and the Church in its
declaration entitled Nostra Aetate. In the period following the Second World War
and the horrors of National Socialism there was an urgent need for a change of
course by the Church and it was undeniably the popes themselves who pushed
ahead with this project. On Good Friday 1959, John XXIII had offensive words
deleted from the so-called “Great Intercessions.” Anti-Semitism was to be
condemned for its Christian roots in an admission of guilt by the Church; a
positive doctrinal statement was to put an end to the Church’s ignoring of Israel.
At the same time there was no denying the fundamental difference whereby
the Christians believed the Messiah had already come in the person of Jesus,
whereas the Jews still awaited his coming.
A wide range of intensive activities was undertaken, not least in Pope John Paul
II’s great admission of guilt in the year 2000. This also applied to the
German-speaking area, a fact which is well documented. The dialogue needs to
be systematically continued, although I cannot go into any more detail on this
The pre-eminence of the Jewish-Christian dialogue is explained by the reasons I
have already given. The Jews are our elder brothers. We cannot forget what Christians have done to them. That is the reason why – quite apart from the ecumenical movement within the church – this dialogue continues to enjoy a
high priority in the debate between faiths. I believe that the Second Vatican
Council’s reform of the liturgy has been a great help here. The Great Intercessions
for Good Friday now say: “Let us also pray for the Jews, to whom God, our Lord,
first spoke. May He preserve them in the allegiance to His covenant and in the
love of His name, so that they may reach the aim to which His will shall lead
them... hear the prayer of Thy Church for the people which Thou first chose as
Thine own: Grant that it attain the fullness of redemption.”
I have already mentioned the Council Declaration Nostra Aetate, although I
cannot deal with it in any greater detail here. 15 It was followed by many similar
declarations, such as the Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the
Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, Article 4 of 1 December 1974 and Notes on
the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in Teaching and Preaching in the
Catholic Church of 24 June 1985, both issued by the Vatican Commission for
Religious Relations with the Jews. I should also like to draw attention to three
documents from the German-speaking area: Unsere Hoffnung (Our Hope),
Resolution of the Joint Synod of Dioceses in the Federal Republic of Germany, 22
November 1975 (Part IV. 2); Theologische Schwerpunkte des jüdisch-christlichen
Gesprächs (Key Theological Issues of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue), working
paper of the Jewish-Christian Forum of the Central Committee of German
Catholics, 8 May 1979; Über das Verhältnis der Kirche zum Judentum (On the
Church's Relationship to Judaism), Declaration of the German Bishops, 28 April
from the year 1973, the above-mentioned perspectives are repeated, confirmed and reinforced. The Church no longer defines its own existence polemically in opposition to Israel or from a position of aloofness. It recognizes the origins of
its own faith and its own election in the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets.
There is frequent resort to the image of the olive tree (cf. Romans 11). The image
of the peace of Christ from Ephesians, chapter 2, where Christ reconciles Jews
and heathens into one body by the cross, plays a major role. In future there can
be no religious or theological self-definition of the Church at the expense of the
people of Israel, but only the recognition of a fundamental and enduring
“spiritual bond.” Despite their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, the Jews are still
loved by God. It cannot be concluded from the fact that the Church sees itself as
the “new people of God” that the Jews have been rejected or cursed by God. The
errors arising out of vulgar theology are being put right. The Church deplores all
outbursts of hatred and manifestations of anti-Semitism. Mutual acquaintance
and esteem must be deepened by theological studies and a dialogue between
brothers. Jews and Christians are joined by their orientation towards the future.
Together with the prophets, the Church awaits the Lord’s Day, which is known
only to God and on which all peoples shall praise and call upon God with one
voice. There is an increasing tendency to discuss the Catholic Church’s own share
of guilt. It is not just a question of expressing regret, but of really condemning
what went wrong.
In recent years the German bishops have supplemented these aspects, the
absence of which has often been deplored. Allow me to quote the bishops’
statement on the relationship between Christians and Jews issued on 20
October 1988, the 50th anniversary of the pogroms of November 1938 (a joint
publication of the Berlin Bishops’ Conference, the German Bishops’ Conference,
and the Austrian Bishops’ Conference on 20 October 198818). The 50th
anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995 provided an occasion to
recall many of the prejudices and hostile attitudes which led to the catastrophe.
In January 1995, a declaration on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the
Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was published, which corresponded
to a declaration of the Polish Bishops’ Conference on the same date. These
declarations left no doubt as to the complicity of Christians and the Church. The
relationship between Christians and Jews was placed in a larger context in the
statement of the German bishops of 24 April 1995 commemorating the end of the Second World War fifty years earlier. Some key issues were reaffirmed and summarized in an ecumenical declaration issued jointly with the Evangelical
Church in Germany (EKD) on 8 May 1995. Similar utterances are to be found in
numerous declarations issued on 8 May 2005.
Reference was made deliberately to an “initial breakthrough,” which applied –
and continues to apply – to many fields and disciplines. Hence one may proceed
on the assumption that a genuinely new epoch has been entered into, with no
possibility of returning to what preceded it. Undoubtedly, a lot still has to be
done to consolidate and expand this initial breakthrough. I am quite convinced
that in the course of the reception process – not across the board but in
isolated cases – there will be stagnation, and perhaps occasional setbacks even.
Of course we will have to go more deeply into the question of how far the
churches were complicit in the terrible events of the Shoah. The overall
situation will have to be described in a more nuanced way than has been
possible hitherto. Oppression and persecution are not the inevitable products
of interpreting the Holy Scriptures. But the actual chain of historical events
strengthened the disposition to hate Jews. “In this way anti-Semitism is a
treasured souvenir of Christianity even in places where Christianity has been
rejected, and the consequence of this for us is that, in pursuit of its political
aims, the Nazi regime was well able to exploit the anti-Semitism practised and
disseminated by Christianity for centuries, while not hesitating to undermine the
Church and those who had faith in it and to oppress them in their turn.”19
Fundamental theological issues remain, such as a more subtly differentiated
definition of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. The
traditional definitions are scarcely adequate to describe the changed
relationship between Judaism and the Church. Here we have Erich Zenger to
thank for providing important pointers. 20 A more precise theological clarification
of the relationship between Israel and the Church raises difficult questions. How
are we to speak of them both? They certainly are not just two institutions. Nor
can they be understood in terms of a permanent opposition. What is the
special task of the Jewish people in God’s plan? One cannot just talk of two
parallel paths to salvation. All this moves some, especially in evangelical circles,
to pose the question of the “Jewish mission.”21 Finally it should be mentioned that the Jewish-Christian dialogue has also led to a new form of cooperation based on biblically inspired ethics, which basically concerns the themes of
justice and the preservation of creation, peace and care for life, and especially
support for human rights.
There are still a number of key issues that have not been gone into with
sufficient thoroughness. Let me mention just three complexes: the Messiah
question, the unique nature of Jesus as the son of God, and the question of law.22
The “initial breakthrough” has certainly enabled us to be more relaxed about
making critical remarks in a way that would not have been possible in the past.
In the face of growing secularisation we would wish for us all to take part in an
intensive debate on the question of God. It goes without saying that we can
neither gloss over the prehistory of Auschwitz nor can we take refuge in the end
of history in order to relativise Auschwitz. Here it really is a matter of “theology
after Auschwitz.”23 This brings us to a discussion of the meaning of religion
I should like to close with a quotation on the “common path of Jews and
Christians” from a document issued in 1979 by the Central Committee of German
Catholics under the title “Key Theological Issues of the Jewish-Christian
Dialogue.” This document seems to me to be ground-breaking with regard to
both substance and method: “The mutual respect for the path of the other is
thus inseparably bound up with considerable divergences in the view of Jesus –
whether or not he was the Messiah of God. But this forces neither Jews nor
Christians to dissolve the fundamental bonds imposed by God’s will once one
has heeded His call. For this reason Jews and Christians are fundamentally
barred from trying to persuade each other to be untrue to the call of God they
have heard. This denial is not just based on tactical considerations. Nor is it
just a matter of humane tolerance or respect for religious freedom. The most
fundamental reason is that Jews and Christians feel themselves called by the
same God. Christians’ faith does not allow them to refrain from bearing witness
to Jesus as the Christ even in dealings with Jews. Jews’ faith does not allow them to refrain from stressing the fact, even in dealings with Christians, that the Torah cannot be superseded. This gives rise to the hope that this witness could
reinforce the other’s faithfulness to the call of God and thus deepen mutual
understanding. On the other hand, it should not include the expectation that the
other should take back or modify his affirmation of the call.”24
An intensification of the Jewish-Christian dialogue, such as we hope to see in
our country following the recent setting up of the Rabbis’ Conference, will not
only support and reaffirm the common biblical witness, but may stimulate a new
interest in some topics concerning the Holy Scriptures and our faith-based
communities. So far, mainly because of the efforts of the two major churches,
the focus has been on the inner-Christian ecumenical dialogue. This was
absolutely necessary and must, of course, continue. But it may be that this
concentration has allowed some aspects of the common biblical tradition to
be relegated to the background. I am thinking, for example, of the fruitful
preoccupation with the major issue of justification. But now, in view of this
document, it is surely time for us to occupy ourselves once again with the
questions of the Decalogue and the law, of God’s edict as the path to life. We
shall impoverish ourselves if we fail to do so. The same applies to the issues of
creation and peace. They also help us to anchor faith in an appropriate manner
in everyday social reality. A recurrent theme of the discussions with Franz
Rosenzweig and Emanuel Levinas was the important and positive – as I would
call it – observation that the dialogue between Christianity and Judaism can
also save Christianity from surrendering to gnosis.25
To intensify the dialogue we now have an important document in the shape of
a Jewish commentary on Christians and Christianity entitled "Dabru Emet – Speak
the Truth", published in the USA on 11 September 2000.26 This document could
become an important guide as the dialogue gains in intensity.
Under the leadership of its principal, Rabbi Dr. Walter Homolka, the Abraham
Geiger College has been pursuing a broad programme of cooperation for some
time now. This includes symposia – to be held in October 2006 in Rome – on
the questions of the origin and function of law in biblical religion, and the
appointment of a Catholic theologian – Professor Heinz-Günther Schöttler from
Bamberg – as Ephraim Veitel lecturer in homiletics at the Abraham Geiger
It is in the context of these promising moves that I see today’s presentation of
the Abraham Geiger Prize. I thank you once again for this award, which I regard
as both an honour and an obligation. I can find a place for myself among the
efforts that are being made. Permit me to conclude with a quotation from the
Jewish religious philosopher Emil L. Fackenheim, who was awarded the prize in
2002: “Do the gentiles understand? Some do, and therein lies hope, not only for
Israel, but also for the nations.” 27
- Cf. his main work: Urschrift und Übersetzungen der Bibel in ihrer Abhängigkeit von der inneren Entwicklung des Judenthums, Breslau, 1857, 2nd ed. Frankfurt, 1928; cf. esp. L. Geiger, Abraham Geiger. Leben und Lebenswerk, Berlin, 1910, reprinted Berlin, 2001; Susannah Heschel, Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus, Chicago, 1998 and the same author’s Abraham Geiger, in Metzler Lexikon jüdischer Philosophen. Philosophisches Denken des Judentums von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, edited by A. B. Kilcher et al., Stuttgart, 2003, pp. 244-247 (bibliography).
- S. Heschel, Abraham Geiger, p. 246.
- Cf. Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthum aufgenommen? Edited and with an introduction by F. Niwöhner, Berlin, 2005 (originally published in Wiesbaden, 1833); see also the extensive review by A. Kilcher in the Neue Züricher Zeitung of 20 August 2005 (No. 193), p. 47, entitled “Jüdische Quellen des Korans. Eine philologische Pionierarbeit aus dem 19. Jahrhundert”.
- Cf. E. L. Ehrlich und der christlich-jüdische Dialog, ed. by R. Vogel, Frankfurt, 1984.
- Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Stuttgart, 1996, p. 153.
- Cf. the Werke in six volumes edited by A. H. Friedlander (Gütersloh, 1996-2003); also A. H. Friedlander, Leo Baeck. Leben und Lehre, Stuttgart, 1973; E. L. Ehrlich, Leo Baeck, in H. Erler/E. L. Ehrlich (eds.), Judentum verstehen. Die Aktualität jüdischen Denkens von Maimonides bis Hannah Arendt, Frankfurt, 2002, pp. 147-167; W. Homolka, Leo Baeck. Jüdisches Denken – Perspektiven für heute, Freiburg i. Br., 2006 (cf. also bibliographical references on p. 149); Chr. Wiese, Leo Baeck, in Metzler Lexikon jüdischer Philosophen, pp. 328-332. See also the individual editions of L. Baeck, Das Wesen des Judentums, 6th ed. Wiesbaden (n.d.); Epochen der jüdischen Geschichte, Stuttgart, 1974; Aus drei Jahrtausenden, Berlin, 1938, Tübingen, 1958.
- Darmstadt, 1905, revised ed. 1921; reprint of the 6th ed. Wiesbaden (n.d.)
- Leipzig, 1900. Regarding the later editions see that of Claus-Dieter Osthövener, Tübingen, 2005, and W. Homolka, Jüdische Identität in der modernen Welt. Leo Baeck und der deutsche Protestantismus, Gütersloh, 1994; W. Licharz (ed.), Leo Baeck – Lehrer und Helfer in schwerer Zeit, Frankfurt, 1983.
- Chr. Wiese, Leo Baeck, p. 330.
- Das Wesen des Judentums, p. 291 et seq.
- A. H. Friedlander, Das Ende der Nacht. Jüdische und christliche Denker nach dem Holocaust, Gütersloh, 1995, p. 137 et seq.
- Geschichte der deutschen Juden, p. 216. For the larger context cf. W. Stegmaier (ed.), Die philosophische Aktualität der jüdischen Tradition, Frankfurt, 2000.
- In addition to the quoted literature cf. R. Mayer, Christentum und Judentum in der Schau Leo Baecks, Stuttgart, 1961; M. A. Meyer, Antwort auf die Moderne. Geschichte der Reformbewegung im Judentum, Vienna, 2000; L. Baeck, Zwischen Geheimnis und Gebot. Auf dem Weg zu einem progressiven Judentum der Moderne = Herenalber Forum, Tagungsband 19, Karlsruhe, 1997; W. Jacob, Christianity Through Jewish Eyes: The Quest for Common Ground, Cincinnati, 1974.
- Cf. H. Heinz (ed.), Um Gottes willen miteinander verbunden. Der Gesprächskreis “Juden und Christen” beim Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken, Münster, 2004; E. Dirscherl/W. Trutwin (eds.), Redet Wahrheit – Dabru Emet. Jüdisch-christliches Gespräch über Gott, Messias und Dekalog, Münster, 2004 (see especially the bibliography on p. 131 et seq.).
- Cf. e.g. Vom Vorrang des jüdisch-christlichen Gesprächs im interreligiösen Dialog, Address to the state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate in cooperation with the Speaker of the Parliament and the Jewish community, Mainz, 30 June 2005; Die katholische Kirche und das Judentum – 40 Jahre nach Nostra Aetate. Paper given on the occasion of the anniversary “Nostra Aetate – Ein folgenreicher Konzilstext. Die Haltung der Kirche 40 Jahre danach”, marked on 28 October 2005 in the August-Pieper-Haus in Aachen and organized by the Episcopal Academy of the Aachen diocese in cooperation with the “Fragen des Judentum (Questions of Judaism)” working group of the Ecumenical Commission of the German Bishops’ Conference. Both texts are being printed.
- Klemens Richter (ed.), Die katholische Kirche und das Judentum. Dokumente von 1945-1982. With commentaries by Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich and Erich Zenger, Freiburg, 1982.
- See also: Hanspeter Heinz (ed.), Um Gottes willen miteinander verbunden. Der Gesprächskreis “Juden und Christen” beim Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken, Münster, 2004; and Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (ed.), Juden und Christen in Deutschland. Verantwortete Zeitgenossenschaft in einer pluralen Gesellschaft. Declaration of the Jewish-Christian Forum of the Central Committee of the German Catholics, 13 April 2005, Bonn (n.d.) (2005).
- Cf. the publication of the joint text in No. 43 of the Veröffentichungen der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Bonn (n.d.)
- Leonard H. Ehrlich, Fraglichkeit der jüdischen Existenz, Freiburg, 1993, p. 173 et seq.
- Erich Zenger, Das Erste Testament. Die jüdische Bibel und die Christen, 4th ed., Düsseldorf, 1994; Erich Zenger, Der Neue Bund im Alten. Zur Bundestheologie der beiden Testamente = QD 146, Freiburg, 1993.
- Heinz Kremers / Erich Lubahn (eds.), Mission an Israel in heilsgeschichtlicher Sicht, Neukirchen, 1985.
- Cf. Clemens Thoma, Das Messiasprojekt. Theologie jüdisch-christlicher Begegnung, Augsburg, 1994.
- Franz Mussner, Dieses Geschlecht wird nicht vergehen, cf. pp. 175 -184; Gabriele Niekamp, Christologie “nach Auschwitz”. Kritische Bilanz für die Religions-didaktik aus dem christlich-jüdischen Dialog, Freiburg, 1994. Cf. K. Lehmann, Über die Einzigartigkeit des Holocaust. Anmerkungen zu einem Schlüsselthema im deutsch-jüdischen und im jüdisch-christlichen Gespräch. Address to a ceremonial session of the Akademie gemeinnütziger Wissenschaften zu Erfurt, Erfurt, 11 June 2005.
- Rendtorff / Henrix (eds.), Die Kirche und das Judentum, p. 257.
- Cf. Zeitgewinn. Messianisches Denken nach Franz Rosenzweig, ed. by G. Fuchs and H. H. Henrix, Frankfurt, 1987, pp. 163-183.
- See the text and commentary by H. Frankemölle (ed.), Juden und Christen im Gespräch über Dabru Emet – Redet Wahrheit, Paderborn/Frankfurt, 2005 (esp. pp. 39-44); and H. Frankmölle (ed.), Christen und Juden gemeinsam ins Dritte Jahrtausend, Paderborn/Frankfurt, 2001. I would also draw attention to the numerous contributions to the “Freiburger Rundbrief (Freiburg Circular)” in recent years; cf. also E. Dirscherl/W. Trutwin (eds.), Redet Wahrheit – Dabru Emet. Jüdisch-christliches Gespräch über Gott, Messias und Dialog = Forum Christen und Juden 4, Münster 2004; E. Dirscherl et al. (ed.), Einander zugewandt. Die Rezeption des christlich- jüdischen Dialogs in der Dogmatik, Paderborn, 2005; H. H. Henrix, Gottes Ja zu Israel. Ökumenische Studien christlicher Theologie, Aachen, 2005, and Judentum und Christentum. Gemeinschaft wider Willen, Kevelaer, 2004.
- Was ist Judentum? Eine Deutung für die Gegenwart, Berlin, 1999.