The Holocaust and Its Religious Impact: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

The Holocaust and Its Religious Impact: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

The Holocaust and Its Religious Impact: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

The Holocaust and Its Religious Impact: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography

Synopsis

This annotated bibliography provides a comprehensive survey of writings about the Holocaust. The authors present an overview of topics including Christian anti-judentum, anti-semitism, the moral and religious response to the Nazi persecution and genocide of the Jews, and post-World War II responses to the Holocaust as they have appeared in the thousands of books and articles published on the Holocaust. The bibliography is divided into four topics with introductory comments that frame the theories put forward in the materials cited. A broad array of past and recent scholarship from a variety of venues and points of view are represented.

Excerpt

Scholars will continue to debate the link between Christianity's “teaching of contempt” for Jews, and the Holocaust. Following the end of World War II, Pope John XXIII initiated a process that led the church to reexamine its liturgy and responsibility in creating an atmosphere that allowed the Nazis to capitalize on centuries of Christian anti-Jewish feeling in their war against the Jews. The Second Vatican Council (1964) subsequently repudiated the notion of the Jewish people as “rejected, cursed, or guilty of deicide.” This effort by the Catholic Church to examine its responsibility for creating a climate that ultimately led to the Holocaust was joined by Protestant theologians and scholars who were similarly introspective about the nexus between Christianity and the destruction of European Jewry. In the decades since the Second Vatican Council, scholars have sought to determine the extent to which Nazi anti-Semitism represented the transformation of the anti-Judentum of the church fathers into the pseudo scientific stereotype of Jews based upon race. Also to be investigated is the question of how difficult it was for the Nazis to convince large numbers of Germans, and their supporters throughout the rest of Europe, that Jews were even more dangerous as race defilers. given the centuries of church teaching that Jews were Christ-killers and guilty of other sins against God.

These are some of the historical problems, which remain unsolved when it comes to understanding the relationship of Christian anti-Judentum to the ggHolocaust. Although it is apparent that Christian anti-Judentum created the pre-

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