Catholics and Jews in Twentieth-Century America

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Rich with the insights of prominent Catholic and Jewish commentators and religious leaders, Catholics and Jews in Twentieth-Century America recounts the amazing transformation of a relationship of irreconcilable enmity to one of respectful coexistence and constructive dialogue.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252073854
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

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
10 Uprooting Contempt 153
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
Notes 243
Selected Bibliography 289
Index 311
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