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Focusing primarily on the Catholic doctrinal view of the Jews and its ramifications, Egal Feldman traces the historical roots of anti-Semitism, examining tenacious Catholic beliefs such as displacement theology (the idea that the Jews lost their place as the chosen people with the coming of Christianity), deicide, and the conviction that the Jews' purported responsibility for the Crucifixion justified all their subsequent misery and vilification.
A new era of Catholic-Jewish relations opened in 1962 with Vatican II's Nostra Aetate, No. 4. A blueprint for a radical transformation of the Catholic relationship to the Jews, this document brought about a reversal of the theology of contempt, a deemphasis on converting Jews to Christianity, and a determination to initiate constructive dialogue between Catholics and Jews. Feldman explores the strides made in improving relations, such as the Vatican's diplomatic recognition of the Jewish state. He also discusses recent disputes, including the erection of a convent near Auschwitz and the proposed canonization of the wartime pope, Pius XII, that reflect the fragility of the interfaith relationship.
Thoughtful and thorough, Catholics and Jews in Twentieth-Century America underscores the magnitude of the change in Catholic thinking about Jews since Vatican II and the courage of thinkers and leaders on both sides in forging new bonds across the lines of faith.
|Introduction: Two Communities||1|
|1||Theology of Contempt||9|
|2||Medievalism and Modernity, 1890-1930||15|
|3||Holy Land and Homeland, 1900-1939||29|
|4||Darkening Horizons, 1920-40||45|
|5||Snatching Souls, 1900-1960||65|
|6||Postwar Ambivalence, 1945-60||84|
|7||Revolt of the Bishops, 1960-75||103|
|8||The Age of Dialogue, 1965-2000||126|
|9||Pitfalls of Dialogue||138|
|11||A New Past||171|
|12||Remembering the Shoah||183|
|13||Burden and Triumph of Jewish Sovereignty, 1949-99||204|
|Conclusion: Living with the Other||227|