Father, Forgive Us: A Christian Response to the Church's Heritage of Jewish Persecution


This passionate but scholarly work takes a hard look at an aspect of history about which most Christians know nothing: the part Christians have played in Jewish persecution. Just as Arabs see the word "Christian" but hear "Crusade", Jews see "Christian" but hear "pogrom". Fred Wright, of CMJ, has mustered extensive evidence demonstrating the legacy of Christian persecution. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred 117AD) contended that Jews were in league with the devil. Other church fathers followed suit. Christian ...
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This passionate but scholarly work takes a hard look at an aspect of history about which most Christians know nothing: the part Christians have played in Jewish persecution. Just as Arabs see the word "Christian" but hear "Crusade", Jews see "Christian" but hear "pogrom". Fred Wright, of CMJ, has mustered extensive evidence demonstrating the legacy of Christian persecution. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred 117AD) contended that Jews were in league with the devil. Other church fathers followed suit. Christian antisemitism continued through the medieval period, leading to Jewish ghettos across Europe. Successive popes endorsed horrific measures including the Spanish Inquisition. Luther demanded that Jews be exported to Palestine and their synagogues burned. The Holocaust took place in Christian Europe and was carried out mostly by baptised Christians. Wright shows how Christians laid the foundations upon which Nazis built their creed. He then demonstrates how modern anti-Zionism draws upon the same root of hostility, and outlines a theological response to the Holocaust. True healing begins when the past is acknowledged. Only thus can these generation-old barriers to the Messiah be overcome.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854246059
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson plc
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 7
Introduction 9
Part 1 Antisemitism 17
1. Some Models for the Understanding of Antisemitism 19
2. The Operation of Antisemitism 34
3. Exterminatory Antisemitism 46
4. Christian Responsibility 67
5. Post-Modernism and the New Antisemitism 95
6. Revisionism and Holocaust Denial: The New Historical Antisemitism 106
7. Is the New Testament Antisemitic? 119
8. Conclusions and Considerations 143
Part 2 When Two Worlds Collide: Anti-Judaism and Anti-Israelism 163
9. The Jews Under Islam 165
10. The British Mandate 181
11. The Mufti of Jerusalem 189
12. Anti-Israelism 213
Part 3 Responding to the Holocaust and Developing the Theology of Catastrophe 231
13. Can Theology Survive After Auschwitz? 233
I. A liturgy for Yom Ha Shoah 259
II. Confession of Faith for Jewish Converts of the Church of Antioch 266
III. List of Jewish Opponents to Muhammad According to Ibn Ishaq 267
IV. The Pact of Umar 269
V. Arab Immigration 1922-43 272
Abbreviations 274
Glossary 275
Select Bibliography 279
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2003

    Well Researched Study Into The Age-Old Hatred Of The Jews.

    I initially ordered this book with the understanding that it was essentially a study on the aspects of both passive and active anti-Semitism within some elements of the Church in relation to the Nazi Holocaust. Attitudes which, together with an alarming apathy, bore a considerable level of responsibility in relation to the persecution of the Jewish people at that time. Although the book provides a commendable investigation of these actual subjects, this work is far, far more extensive than what I had imagined. This scholarly, moving book seriously impressed me in both it¿s depth and scope. It is extremely well researched and presents a wealth of evidence. The book is passionately written with a sincere yearning for a genuine repentance amongst the Christian Church towards the Jewish people who are described as being the ¿root of their faith¿. A deep yearning for a healing of nineteen hundred years of Jewish-Christian relations which includes a recognition by the Church of the concrete realities pertaining to the Holocaust, the State of Israel, the role of Israel among the nations and it¿s true place relating to Scripture. Indeed, this study extends very much into Church history to discover the disturbing roots of anti-Jewish hatred and expands to even cover modern day anti-Semitism and the present situation in the Middle East. The subject of ¿Holocaust denial¿ is also discussed. We are additionally presented with a section dealing with the history of the British Mandate in Palestine and yet another which deals with ¿the Jews under Islam¿. The latter addressing the Dhimmi status of non-Moslems and Sharia law. The ancient ¿blood libels¿ and many other issues underlying the virulent, vehement and fervid hatred of the Jewish people which culminated in so much persecution and slaughter, are provided with appropriate attention. Also addressed here is the arraignment against the Jews of ¿Deicide¿. A concept frequently found in the writings of the Early Church Fathers and which was passed down through the ages. Something described as the ultimate ¿manifestation and exercise of wickedness¿ where the Jews are depicted as the ¿murderers of the vehicle of their own Salvation¿, Jesus Christ. Yet another parallel indictment against the Jews, which originated from the very same sources as that of ¿Deicide¿ is that of the Jews ¿being in league with the devil¿. These principles of shameless, racial hatred are discussed at length. In relation to the Holocaust, the book points out that it may indeed come as a shock to many to discover that the Holocaust, (carried out in the middle of ¿Christian Europe¿), was largely carried out by ¿baptised Christians¿. (Adolf Hitler himself being described as a ¿member¿ of the Catholic Church.) Elements of the Nazi ¿killing machine¿ even being cited as being ¿welcomed¿ in many areas and being ¿supplemented and supported¿ by a number of local church leaders and their congregants. Whilst this may shock some readers, this subject deserves our attention irrespective of the individual¿s opinions pertaining to these revelations. The book goes to great pains to illustrate that the Jewish people have been the focus of ¿universal animosity¿ throughout history and their Diaspora, even when they have been a ¿minority race¿, largely dis-empowered, without political or national aspirations and until recently without a homeland. The book describing how the Jewish people have even adopted the societal norms, language, dress, culture and even religion of those amongst whom they have been scattered. Yet, despite this, the hatred of their race still could not be quelled. This study also reveals how a particularly subtle form of anti-Semitism has insinuated it¿s way into recent, ¿modern thought¿. A hatred, which includes all of it¿s ancient loathing, but is now to be found under the new labels of ¿anti-Zionism¿ or ¿anti-Israelism¿. The study elaborating on this with due reference to context of the Palestinian-Isr

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