Jews and Christians: Rivals Or Partners For the Kingdom of God? (#21 in Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs Series)
For centuries, the Christian churches and Christian theology have sought to forge their own identity by challenging the identity of Judaism. Christians often inquired whether Israel was still the people of God, whether the church had replaced Israel. An affirmative...
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For centuries, the Christian churches and Christian theology have sought to forge their own identity by challenging the identity of Judaism. Christians often inquired whether Israel was still the people of God, whether the church had replaced Israel. An affirmative answer to the latter inquiry is often described as the "theology of substitution": the church has taken Israel's place. The implication is that there is no longer any place for Israel in God's plan of salvation. The history of Christian anti-Judaism is dramatic proof of the violent potential that is implicit in this Christian theology of substitution. After Auschwitz, the search for an alternative to this theology, a search which touches the heart of Christianity, has become a necessity. The central question of this book is whether - and how - Christianity can maintain its identity if it no longer understands itself as a substitute for Judaism. How can one combine witness to one's own faith with respect for the convictions of the other ? If Jews regard themselves as a chosen people - as the Bible explicitely affirms - and Christians regard Jesus as the unique savior of humanity, how are Jews and Christians to approach one another ? Is there a basis, within Christianity and Judaism, to accord salvific value to another religion ? In a pluralistic world, can Christians and Jews form a coalition to cooperate in realizing God's Kingdom on earth ? (Peeters 1997)
Didier Pollefeyt is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Theology of Jewish-Christian Relations at Katholieke Universiteit (Catholic University) in Leuven, Belgium.