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Religions 2016, 7(6), 70; doi:10.3390/rel7060070

Abraham Joshua Heschel and Nostra Aetate: Shaping the Catholic Reconsideration of Judaism during Vatican II

Faculty of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies, Radboud University, Erasmusplein 1, 6525 HT Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Academic Editors: Douglas James Davies and Michael J. Thate
Received: 6 March 2016 / Revised: 2 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and the Individual: Belief, Practice, and Identity)
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Abstract

Although Nostra Aetate is only comprised of five short paragraphs, this document represents a turning point, not just for Catholic-Jewish relations, but also sketches the fundamental aims of embodying the Christian faith in a pluralistic age. There is a complex but important narrative that needs to be revisited so that we do not forget the ways in which Catholic learning has developed, and how this development has often been prompted by non-Catholics. In this article, I will re-examine some crucial details in the back-story of the formulation of Nostra Aetate and offer some observations about the potential consequences of omitting these details. My argument is that some recent events and scholarship suffer from a form of amnesia about the role that Jewish people have played in the development of Catholic learning—a form of amnesia that manifests in explicit proselytizing tendencies. In particular, I want to highlight the role that Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel played during the Second Vatican Council as an instructive example for Catholic-Jewish dialogue today. View Full-Text
Keywords: Abraham Joshua Heshel; Nostra Aetate; Vatican II; Judaism; Pope Francis; inter-faith dialogue Abraham Joshua Heshel; Nostra Aetate; Vatican II; Judaism; Pope Francis; inter-faith dialogue
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Furnal, J. Abraham Joshua Heschel and Nostra Aetate: Shaping the Catholic Reconsideration of Judaism during Vatican II. Religions 2016, 7, 70.

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