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Christians and Jews: Faith to Faith : Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future - Rabbi James Rudin

Christians and Jews: Faith to Faith

Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future

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Published: 13th July 2013
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Can Christians and Jews overcome 2,000 years as hostile strangers?

For two thousand years, Christians and Jews have coexisted in an uneasy state of tension, mutual suspicion, and often hatred and violence. But in recent years, courageous Christian and Jewish leaders have together confronted the past with laserlike intensity and commenced the urgent task of building bridges of solidarity, mutual knowledge and respect.

This extraordinary effort, coming after two millennia that were frequently filled with intolerance and distrust, reverses a tragic history and creates a new and constructive relationship between Christians and Jews. But it has not been easy. How did this happen? How was it possible to begin the process of overcoming centuries of stereotypes, caricatures and bigotry? And does the development of constructive Christian-Jewish relations, albeit still fragile, offer a successful model to resolve other intergroup conflicts?

This probing examination of Christian-Jewish relations looks at the major issues facing both faith traditions to guarantee that the recent hard-earned gains and achievements will not be lost or weakened in the difficult years ahead.

Rabbi Rudin's career concentration on Christian-Jewish rapprochement enables him to write a crystal clear primer on the bones of contention from which anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism were constructed. If you want to know why, as Rudin puts it, 'Old Testament' is not a term of endearment; how the Pauline epistles fueled Christian disdain for Judaism and Jews; the difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism; and why the only Holocaust is the Nazi extermination campaign, consult this book. Besides answering such questions, Rudin discusses what the land of Israel means to Jews and Christians, what Jerusalem signifies to Muslims as well as to Jews and to Christians, and, superbly, the implications and effects of Christian mission, witness, and conversion upon Jews. Rudin draws extensively from the historical and religious records of both Jews and Christians, and the bibliography of further reading is impressive enough to damp down objections that this is mere potted, partisan history. Concluding chapters counseling readers on starting and conducting Jewish-Christian dialogue neatly complement the exposition.

--Ray Olson "Booklist Trade Magazine " "Rabbi Rudin has written the best guide to Jewish-Christian dialogue that I have ever seen. Popular but sophisticated, sobering but hopeful, it provides a searching analysis of the vocabulary and history of Christian-Jewish relations, reminding us why these relations are so difficult and why they are so important." Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president, Union for Reform Judaism



Offers us all a Jewish 'take' on our times, allowing us to see and hear the news with the eyes and ears of Jews. Here also is a clear-eyed understanding for both Christians and Jews of the evils of establishment, religion and state coupled together, predicated upon replacing suspicion with respect and apathy with empathy. Urgently needed! The Rev. Dr. James M. Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy, Divinity School at Wake Forest University

Does not dodge any of the painful issues.... [A] rewarding, always stimulating book. Peter Steinfels, co-director, Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture; former New York Times religion correspondent and columnist

This is a must-have for anyone interested in the vital story of Christian-Jewish relations. Rabbi Rudin s polished prose and sharp observations guide the reader on a stimulating journey through time, and provide invaluable insights into the future of one of the world s most complicated religious relationships. Indispensable for academics, interfaith activists and general readers interested in religion and its impact on world history. Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti-Defamation League

A vibrant, timely study by one of America s distinguished leaders and shrewd analysts of the Jewish-Christian encounter. Rudin succeeds brilliantly in laying bare the past and illuminating the present so Jews and Christians may wisely and respectfully press forward to model a more authentic relationship for the good of the other and the future of all humanity. Marvin R. Wilson, PhD, Ockenga Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College

Absolutely the most convenient panoramic analysis of the Jewish-Christian retrospect and prospect I ve seen. A masterpiece by the Jewish dean and most seasoned veteran of Jewish-Christian deliberations penetratingly clear and accessible for all readers. A clarion call lest gains of recent decades lapse or even dissipate. Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati; author, Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment

A comprehensive overview of a half century of Christian-Jewish relations. Rudin brings his long central involvement in the Christian-Jewish dialogue to bear in insightful ways on the major theological and political issues central to that conversation. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago)

This thorough, engaging and accessible [resource] on Jewish-Christian relations examines the complex history of two formidable faith communities and makes concrete suggestions for action. Rudin s rich experience in Jewish-Christian dialogue is apparent from beginning to end. Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization; former president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Rudin has brought his wealth of experience and uncommon wisdom to shed light on the complex world of interreligious relations. Important and useful. Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee



" "Christians and Jews." Those three words alone recall unimaginable human suffering, yet contain reassuring potential for deep common cause. No other two religions have quite the same shared stake in the Almighty, nor in the murderous hatred that can envelop siblings.



The last century holds the markers of that polarity: images of the Shoah Christian Germany's deliberate attempt to eliminate Jews and images of a pope, who described Christians and Jews as brothers in faith, visiting a synagogue and inserting a prayer in the Western Wall.

For reassurance that the rawest hurts can heal we have Rabbi James Rudin's Christians & Jews, and Cokie and Steve Roberts Our Haggadah. Both witness the fact that the healing takes place not in pulpit discourses about love but in the real work of humans gathered faith-to-faith and face -to-face.

Rudin is singularly qualified to assemble an overview of Christian and Jewish relations. He has been a personal witness to so much that has occurred in interreligious matters since the late 1960s. That s when he began working with the American Jewish Committee, as its national interreligious affairs director, a role he continues to fill in a modified way since his retirement in 2000.

He has written a great deal and is highly knowledgeable. He knows St. John Chrysostom s "Eight Homilies Against the Jews," which provided grist for the Nazis and a theological underpinning for the charge of deicide. He is equally conversant with Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Second Vatican Council document in which the church s bishops overwhelmingly repudiated the teaching of Jewish 'guilt for the death of Jesus and implicitly reputed the deicide charge that Jews were 'Christ killers.

Nostra Aetate was hardly a foregone conclusion. It met resistance from conservative and Middle Eastern bishops. Rudin credits two Americans at the council, Cardinals Richard Cushing of Boston and Francis Spellman of New York, with pushing the document over the top. They threw their influence, charisma and leadership into the Vatican council deliberations by urging their fellow bishops to adopt strong positive statements on the church s relationship to Jews, writes Rudin.

The sweep of Rudin s work is as impressive as it is tightly and accessibly told. Rudin, however, is wary of claiming success in Christian-Jewish relations. He notes that Pope Benedict XVI revived a version of the pre-Vatican II Good Friday prayer. The latest version, while eliminating the most offensive language, returns to a plea for the conversion of Jews ( that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men ) as an alternative to a post-Vatican II prayer that asks of God that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. He notes Benedict s reinstatement of a previously excommunicated bishop who was then discovered to be a Holocaust denier.

If interfaith relations are a sincere courtship, it s not so different from people who fall in love first and figure out the religious entanglements later. Welcome to an increasingly plural world.

--Tom Roberts"National Catholic Reporter" (12/28/2011)" Rabbi Rudin's career concentration on Christian-Jewish rapprochement enables him to write a crystal clear primer on the bones of contention from which anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism were constructed. If you want to know why, as Rudin puts it, 'Old Testament' is not a term of endearment; how the Pauline epistles fueled Christian disdain for Judaism and Jews; the difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism; and why the only Holocaust is the Nazi extermination campaign, consult this book. Besides answering such questions, Rudin discusses what the land of Israel means to Jews and Christians, what Jerusalem signifies to Muslims as well as to Jews and to Christians, and, superbly, the implications and effects of Christian mission, witness, and conversion upon Jews. Rudin draws extensively from the historical and religious records of both Jews and Christians, and the bibliography of further reading is impressive enough to damp down objections that this is mere potted, partisan history. Concluding chapters counseling readers on starting and conducting Jewish-Christian dialogue neatly complement the exposition.--Ray Olson"Booklist Trade Magazine" (12/16/2010) "Rabbi Rudin has written the best guide to Jewish-Christian dialogue that I have ever seen. Popular but sophisticated, sobering but hopeful, it provides a searching analysis of the vocabulary and history of Christian-Jewish relations, reminding us why these relations are so difficult and why they are so important." Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president, Union for Reform Judaism

Offers us all a Jewish 'take' on our times, allowing us to see and hear the news with the eyes and ears of Jews. Here also is a clear-eyed understanding for both Christians and Jews of the evils of establishment, religion and state coupled together, predicated upon replacing suspicion with respect and apathy with empathy. Urgently needed! The Rev. Dr. James M. Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy, Divinity School at Wake Forest University

Does not dodge any of the painful issues.... [A] rewarding, always stimulating book. Peter Steinfels, co-director, Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture; former "New York Times" religion correspondent and columnist

This is a must-have for anyone interested in the vital story of Christian-Jewish relations. Rabbi Rudin s polished prose and sharp observations guide the reader on a stimulating journey through time, and provide invaluable insights into the future of one of the world s most complicated religious relationships. Indispensable for academics, interfaith activists and general readers interested in religion and its impact on world history. Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti-Defamation League

A vibrant, timely study by one of America s distinguished leaders and shrewd analysts of the Jewish-Christian encounter. Rudin succeeds brilliantly in laying bare the past and illuminating the present so Jews and Christians may wisely and respectfully press forward to model a more authentic relationship for the good of the other and the future of all humanity. Marvin R. Wilson, PhD, Ockenga Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College

Absolutely the most convenient panoramic analysis of the Jewish-Christian retrospect and prospect I ve seen. A masterpiece by the Jewish dean and most seasoned veteran of Jewish-Christian deliberations penetratingly clear and accessible for all readers. A clarion call lest gains of recent decades lapse or even dissipate. Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati; author, "Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment"

A comprehensive overview of a half century of Christian-Jewish relations. Rudin brings his long central involvement in the Christian-Jewish dialogue to bear in insightful ways on the major theological and political issues central to that conversation. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago)

This thorough, engaging and accessible [resource] on Jewish-Christian relations examines the complex history of two formidable faith communities and makes concrete suggestions for action. Rudin s rich experience in Jewish-Christian dialogue is apparent from beginning to end. Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization; former president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Rudin has brought his wealth of experience and uncommon wisdom to shed light on the complex world of interreligious relations. Important and useful. Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee

" "Christians and Jews." Those three words alone recall unimaginable human suffering, yet contain reassuring potential for deep common cause. No other two religions have quite the same shared stake in the Almighty, nor in the murderous hatred that can envelop siblings.

The last century holds the markers of that polarity: images of the Shoah Christian Germany's deliberate attempt to eliminate Jews and images of a pope, who described Christians and Jews as brothers in faith, visiting a synagogue and inserting a prayer in the Western Wall.

For reassurance that the rawest hurts can heal we have Rabbi James Rudin's Christians & Jews, and Cokie and Steve Roberts Our Haggadah. Both witness the fact that the healing takes place not in pulpit discourses about love but in the real work of humans gathered faith-to-faith and face -to-face.

Rudin is singularly qualified to assemble an overview of Christian and Jewish relations. He has been a personal witness to so much that has occurred in interreligious matters since the late 1960s. That s when he began working with the American Jewish Committee, as its national interreligious affairs director, a role he continues to fill in a modified way since his retirement in 2000.

He has written a great deal and is highly knowledgeable. He knows St. John Chrysostom s "Eight Homilies Against the Jews," which provided grist for the Nazis and a theological underpinning for the charge of deicide. He is equally conversant with Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Second Vatican Council document in which the church s bishops overwhelmingly repudiated the teaching of Jewish 'guilt for the death of Jesus and implicitly reputed the deicide charge that Jews were 'Christ killers.

Nostra Aetate was hardly a foregone conclusion. It met resistance from conservative and Middle Eastern bishops. Rudin credits two Americans at the council, Cardinals Richard Cushing of Boston and Francis Spellman of New York, with pushing the document over the top. They threw their influence, charisma and leadership into the Vatican council deliberations by urging their fellow bishops to adopt strong positive statements on the church s relationship to Jews, writes Rudin.

The sweep of Rudin s work is as impressive as it is tightly and accessibly told. Rudin, however, is wary of claiming success in Christian-Jewish relations. He notes that Pope Benedict XVI revived a version of the pre-Vatican II Good Friday prayer. The latest version, while eliminating the most offensive language, returns to a plea for the conversion of Jews ( that they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men ) as an alternative to a post-Vatican II prayer that asks of God that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. He notes Benedict s reinstatement of a previously excommunicated bishop who was then discovered to be a Holocaust denier.

If interfaith relations are a sincere courtship, it s not so different from people who fall in love first and figure out the religious entanglements later. Welcome to an increasingly plural world.--Tom Roberts"National Catholic Reporter" (12/28/2011)" "Rabbi Rudin has written the best guide to Jewish-Christian dialogue that I have ever seen. Popular but sophisticated, sobering but hopeful, it provides a searching analysis of the vocabulary and history of Christian-Jewish relations, reminding us why these relations are so difficult and why they are so important." Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president, Union for Reform Judaism

Offers us all a Jewish 'take' on our times, allowing us to see and hear the news with the eyes and ears of Jews. Here also is a clear-eyed understanding for both Christians and Jews of the evils of establishment, religion and state coupled together, predicated upon replacing suspicion with respect and apathy with empathy. Urgently needed! The Rev. Dr. James M. Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy, Divinity School at Wake Forest University

Does not dodge any of the painful issues.... [A] rewarding, always stimulating book. Peter Steinfels, co-director, Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture; former "New York Times" religion correspondent and columnist

This is a must-have for anyone interested in the vital story of Christian-Jewish relations. Rabbi Rudin s polished prose and sharp observations guide the reader on a stimulating journey through time, and provide invaluable insights into the future of one of the world s most complicated religious relationships. Indispensable for academics, interfaith activists and general readers interested in religion and its impact on world history. Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti-Defamation League

A vibrant, timely study by one of America s distinguished leaders and shrewd analysts of the Jewish-Christian encounter. Rudin succeeds brilliantly in laying bare the past and illuminating the present so Jews and Christians may wisely and respectfully press forward to model a more authentic relationship for the good of the other and the future of all humanity. Marvin R. Wilson, PhD, Ockenga Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College

Absolutely the most convenient panoramic analysis of the Jewish-Christian retrospect and prospect I ve seen. A masterpiece by the Jewish dean and most seasoned veteran of Jewish-Christian deliberations penetratingly clear and accessible for all readers. A clarion call lest gains of recent decades lapse or even dissipate. Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati; author, "Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment"

A comprehensive overview of a half century of Christian-Jewish relations. Rudin brings his long central involvement in the Christian-Jewish dialogue to bear in insightful ways on the major theological and political issues central to that conversation. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago)

This thorough, engaging and accessible [resource] on Jewish-Christian relations examines the complex history of two formidable faith communities and makes concrete suggestions for action. Rudin s rich experience in Jewish-Christian dialogue is apparent from beginning to end. Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization; former president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rabbi Rudin has brought his wealth of experience and uncommon wisdom to shed light on the complex world of interreligious relations. Important and useful. Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee

"

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
What's in a Name? Hebrews, Israelites, or Jews?p. 1
The Ancient Big Three: Jews, Greeks, and Romansp. 7
The World's Longest Running Religious Debate Beginsp. 17
Saul, Call Me Paul: The Controversial Apostle to the Gentilesp. 43
The Partings of the Way: Jews and Christians Take Separate Paths to Godp. 57
Why "Old Testament" Is Not a Term of Endearmentp. 65
Anti-Judaism and Anti-Semitism: The Poisoned Branches of Paul's "Good Olive Tree"p. 83
Mission, Witness, and Conversionp. 113
O Jerusalem! Three Faiths but Only One Jerusalemp. 133
Why There Is Only One Holocaustp. 149
The Meaning of Modern Israel for Christians and Jewsp. 167
Proceed with Caution: Interreligious Relations Is Now a Three-Way Intersectionp. 183
We Are Prisoners of Hopep. 215
A User's Guide to Christian-Jewish Relationsp. 225
Discussion Guidep. 233
Notesp. 237
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 253
Indexp. 262
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781580234320
ISBN-10: 1580234321
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 267
Published: 19th November 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.32 x 16.1  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.53