Special Issue "Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Adam Gregerman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies & Associate Director, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, 19131, PA, USA
Interests: Christianity; Judaism; Christian–Jewish relations; Rabbinic Judaism; Early Christianity; Biblical studies; history of interpretation
Dr. Philip Cunningham
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Theology and Religious Studies & Director, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, 19131, PA, USA
Interests: Christianity; Judaism; Christian–Jewish relations; Modern Catholicism; Vatican II; Biblical studies; history of interpretation; theology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For nearly two millennia, Christian views of Jews and Judaism were almost exclusively critical and even hostile. In the first four centuries of the Common Era, Christians increasingly defined themselves in opposition to Jews. This antipathy was manifest in an extensive range of polemical literature whose main arguments became entwined with formative Christian self-understanding. Beginning with the Christianization of the Roman Empire after the fourth century, Jews faced not only polemics but also legal discrimination. While sometimes tolerated in medieval Christendom, they also were sometimes the victims of terrible violence (especially after the year 1000). This long, baleful, anti-Jewish tradition was transmuted in the modern period into racialist hatred and aided the Nazis in their nearly successful genocide of Jews in ostensibly “Christian” Europe.

The crisis of conscious catalyzed by the Shoah compelled many Christian communities and theologians to—for the first time in history—critique long-unquestioned, hostile religious assertions about Jews and Judaism. Theologically, the challenge was wide-ranging and included fundamental questions about, for example, how Scripture is read and interpreted, soteriology, ecclesiology, liturgy, and even basic language and terminology.

For this Special Issue of Religions on Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism, we invite submissions that examine particular aspects of the developments in Christian thought in the aftermath of the Shoah. While we welcome submissions that engage biblical, pre-modern, or modern authors and texts, all essays should relate these topics to the dynamic changes that have taken place in Christian theology in the past seventy-five years. Also welcome are submissions employing diverse methodologies, which can be drawn from the fields of theology, religious studies, history, sociology, and others. We especially invite submissions that make constructive theological contributions to the emerging new relationship between Christians and Jews.

We welcome preliminary submissions of proposals for articles (up to 300 words) and will provide feedback and suggestions. You can reach the guest editors at [email protected] Articles should be between 5000 and 7500 words in length.

The following questions may be considered, but the list is not comprehensive:

1. What approaches are being used to re-evaluate Christian theologies of Jews and Judaism?

2. What issues remain to be addressed or have only been partially addressed?

3. What have been the most difficult or divisive issues in Christian re-evaluations of Jews and Judaism, and why? What are possible ways of addressing these issues?

4. How have our views of history (and the telling of history) changed as a result of a commitment to re-thinking Christian views of Jews and Judaism?

5. How have Christian efforts to overcome anti-Judaism impacted Christianity? What areas of Christian life and thought need to be further reconsidered because of these changes?

6. How has the topic of Christian mission to Jews been re-evaluated?

7. What role is there for Jews in Christian re-evaluations of Jews and Judaism?

8. Are their necessary or recommended changes to Jewish theology as a result of the developments in Christianity?

Dr. Adam Gregerman
Dr. Philip Cunningham
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Christianity
  • Judaism
  • Christian–Jewish Relations
  • Catholicism
  • Biblical studies
  • history of interpretation
  • theology
  • polemics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Israel and the Individual in Matthew and Midrash: Reassessing “True Israel”
Religions 2021, 12(6), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060425 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 887
Abstract
Since the Holocaust, New Testament scholarship has become increasingly sensitive to issues of Christian anti-Judaism. While many Matthean specialists have acknowledged the problems with polemical interpretations of the Gospel, the idea that Matthew presents Jesus and/or the church is the “true Israel” continues [...] Read more.
Since the Holocaust, New Testament scholarship has become increasingly sensitive to issues of Christian anti-Judaism. While many Matthean specialists have acknowledged the problems with polemical interpretations of the Gospel, the idea that Matthew presents Jesus and/or the church is the “true Israel” continues to enjoy broad acceptance. The scholarly conflation of Jesus and Israel recycles the Christian polemic against a comparatively inauthentic or inadequate Judaism. This article argues that Matthew does not present Jesus or his church as the true Israel, and that the Jesus-as-Israel interpretation could be refined by comparing the Gospel with later rabbinic discussion that connects Israel with biblical individuals. Genesis Rabbah 40:6 juxtaposes verses about Abraham and Israel to reveal a comprehensive scriptural relationship between the nation and the patriarch without devaluing either party. The rabbis’ theological thesis is predicated on both similarity and separation between Abraham and his offspring. Insofar as both Matthew and Midrash present similar biblical content and exegesis, a comparative analysis can provide Gospel commentators with a view of the Jesus-Israel paradigm that avoids the Christianization of “true Israel.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism)
Article
The Future of Post-Shoah Christology: Three Challenges and Three Hopes
Religions 2021, 12(6), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060407 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Post-Shoah Christology is embedded in the unique relationship of Jews and Christians, especially Jesus’ Jewishness and the Jewish roots of Christianity, as well as Christian moral failures towards Jews before and during the Shoah. Essential for contemporary Christianity, a vibrant post-Shoah Christology confronts [...] Read more.
Post-Shoah Christology is embedded in the unique relationship of Jews and Christians, especially Jesus’ Jewishness and the Jewish roots of Christianity, as well as Christian moral failures towards Jews before and during the Shoah. Essential for contemporary Christianity, a vibrant post-Shoah Christology confronts three main challenges, each demanding a different response. The first challenge is the reality that soon there will be no more first-generation witnesses to the Final Solution. Such is an inevitable challenge that has to be faced and prepared for. Religious pluralism is the second challenge, and includes a number of related threads, yet should ultimately be embraced. The third challenge is the (inevitable?) loss of memory, passion, and urgency, a willful forgetfulness by Christians towards the importance of the Jewish–Christian relationship, and especially, Christian failure in the Shoah. This challenge demands robust refutation and ongoing struggle. Before addressing these challenges, I will first further define and highlight the need for a post-Shoah Christology and will conclude this article with three general and three concrete hopes for a viable post-Shoah Christology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism)
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