An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations (Introduction by Edward Kessler

By Edward Kessler

Kin among Christians and Jews during the last thousand years were characterized to an outstanding quantity through mutual mistrust and through Christian discrimination and violence opposed to Jews. In contemporary a long time, even if, a brand new spirit of discussion has been rising, starting with an awakening between Christians of the Jewish origins of Christianity, and inspiring students of either traditions to interact. An advent to Jewish-Christian kinfolk sheds clean gentle in this ongoing interfaith stumble upon, exploring key writings and topics in Jewish-Christian heritage, from the Jewish context of the hot testomony to significant occasions of contemporary instances, together with the increase of ecumenism, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the construction of the kingdom of Israel. This obtainable theological and old research additionally touches on various similar parts similar to Jewish and interfaith reports, philosophy, sociology, cultural reviews, diplomacy and the political sciences.

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Art It might seem surprising that art should even be considered in the study of Jewish–Christian relations. In the past, scholars turned to the following biblical verses: You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. (Exod. ) This command has been interpreted to mean that Jews and Christians would automatically have opposed every form of figurative visual representation.

At the same time, it was increasingly common for Christians to portray Jews with negative stereotyping and often with outright derision. Even biblical patriarchs such as Abraham and Moses were given negative attributes. For example, Christian artists endowed Moses with horns protruding from his forehead, which, although originally meant to suggest his honour and power (as a result of the Vulgate translation of Exod. : that describes Moses’ face as ‘horned’, a mistaken interpretation of Hebrew qaran, ‘shone brilliantly’, as qeren, ‘horn’), soon came to signify ignominy and even disrepute.

This resulted in the publication of Nostra Aetate (). Both men encouraged church leaders to condemn antisemitism, to eliminate anti-Judaism from church teachings and to acknowledge the permanent value of Judaism. Nostra Aetate’s insistence that ‘Jews should not be presented as rejected [ . . ] by God’ was a significant turning point for the Roman Catholic Church and has been further amplified and developed by later pontifical documents. When Pope John Paul II (–) led the Vatican to recognise the state of Israel in , he overturned centuries of teaching that tied Jewish eviction from their land to their sinful rejection of Christ.

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