Christians and Jews: Faith to Faith
Tragic History, Promising Present, Fragile Future
We now have the potential to end two thousand years of hostility. Will we succeed?In recent years, courageous Christian and Jewish leaders have together confronted the past and commenced the urgent task of ending one of the world's longest and most bitter religious conflicts by building bridges of solidarity, mutual knowledge and respect. But creating this new and constructive relationship has not been easy. How did it happen? How was it possible to begin the process of overcoming centuries of stereotypes, caricatures and prejudices? And does the development of constructive Christian-Jewish relations, while still fragile, offer a successful model to resolve other conflicts?This probing examination of Christian-Jewish relations looks at the major issues facing both faith communities to guarantee that recent hard-earned achievements will not be lost in the tumultuous years ahead.
Rudin, who was national interreligious affairs director for the American Jewish Committee for more than three decades, draws on his extensive experience in interfaith meetings for the observations he offers. He emphasizes Jewish-Christian relationships, but recognizes the necessity of including Muslims in current interreligious discussions. Most of the book is devoted to the birth of Christianity and the relationship between Jews and Christians in biblical times and in the Middle Ages, a focus that finally shifts when he discusses the distortions and deceptions of Hebrew Christians in missionary activities aimed at Jews. A chapter on the Holocaust emphasizes the role of Christians in murdering Jews and urges consideration of the Holocaust in every interreligious encounter. Rudin concludes with a plea for religious pluralism as a necessary antidote to endless ethnic and religious conflicts. He provides a discussion guide for Jewish-Christian study sessions and an eight-page list of suggested readings that includes four of his eight books. Rudin s emphasis on history limits the value of this book; today s issues provide more timely topics for groups wishing to improve interreligious relationships. \n