Symposium: A New Christian Document on Christian-Jewish Relations

By Rosenthal, Rabbi Gilbert S. | Midstream, January 2003 | Go to article overview

Symposium: A New Christian Document on Christian-Jewish Relations


Rosenthal, Rabbi Gilbert S., Midstream


Introduction

Remarkable progress has been made in Christian-Jewish relations over these past 50 years or so. Indeed, more progress than in the preceding 19 centuries. Doubtlessly, the Holocaust raised the painfully appropriate questions: How in Christian Europe, bastion of culture and enlightenment, tolerance and multiculturalism, could this have happened? What were the factors that led to the tragedy? Were Christian teachings responsible for the Final Solution? Roman Catholicism reevaluated its teachings and theological positions at Vatican II under the impetus of Pope John XXIII, culminating in the issuance of Nostra Aetate in 1965. The principles enumerated there represent a Copernican revolution in Catholic thinking about Jews and Judaism. Many--but not all--Protestant denominations have been similarly engaged in reassessing their attitudes towards Judaism. However, those were but beginnings: both individuals and groups have carried on the process.

A unique group of Catholic and Protestant scholars, men and women, professors and clergy, currently located at Boston College, has been laboring since 1969 to undo the harm of centuries and flesh out the principles laid down in that historic document, which has proved to be the jumping-off point rather than the culmination of Christian efforts to atone for its role in preparing the soil for the "harvest of hate." Its goals are significant: eliminate the erroneous portrayal of Jews as unfaithful deicides, accursed by God; expunge the teaching of contempt; revise Christian teachings about Jews and Judaism. The result is a remarkable document, A Sacred Obligation. Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People. The document was released on September 1, 2002. It is signed by 22 of the leading theologians and ecumenists in the Catholic and Protestant world. The headings of its ten, brief paragraphs say it all: "God's covenant with the Jewish people endures forever"; "Jesus of Nazareth lived and died as a faithful Jew"; "Ancient rivalries must not define Christian-Jewish relations today"; "Judaism is a living faith, enriched by many centuries of development"; "The Bible both connects and separates Jews and Christians"; "Affirming God's enduring covenant with the Jewish people has consequences for Christian understanding of salvation"; "Christians should not target Jews for conversion"; "Christian worship that teaches contempt for Judaism dishonors God"; "We affirm the importance of the land of Israel for the life of the Jewish people"; "Christians should work with Jews for the healing of the world."

Midstream magazine has invited a panel of four eminent Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish thinkers who work in the field of interreligious relations to react to the document, which appears first in the following pages, and two signatories to the document, who have been asked to respond to the critiques. It is our hope that we will stimulate our readers to a deeper consideration of the implications of this and other such documents for the future of Jewish-Christian relations.

The Document

A Sacred Obligation: Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People

A Statement by the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, September 1, 2002

Since its inception in 1969, the Christian Scholars Group has been seeking to develop more adequate Christian theologies of the church's relationship to Judaism and the Jewish people. Pursuing this work for over three decades under varied sponsorship, members of our association of Protestant and Roman Catholic biblical scholars, historians, and theologians have published many volumes on Christian-Jewish relations.

Our work has a historical context. For most of the past two thousand years, Christians have erroneously portrayed Jews as unfaithful, holding them collectively responsible for the death of Jesus and therefore accursed by God. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Symposium: A New Christian Document on Christian-Jewish Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.