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.
“Crystal clear.... Draws extensively from the historical and religious records of both Jews and Christians ... impressive.”
—American Library Association’s Booklist
“Well organized, easy to read.... Recommended.”
—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
“Nuanced insights.... Can be used as a practical guide to organizing interreligious programs, but it can also be read for its concise introduction to Western religious history and theology ... comprehensive.... A straightforward and intelligent guide to the theological developments that led to the ‘tragic history’ between Christians and Jews.”
—Catholic News Service
“Very informative.... Much interesting and relevant material.”
“Highly informative and comprehensive.... [Goes] straight to the essence of every confrontation.... Valuable.”
“Does not mince words in describing the flashpoint issues in interfaith relations from a Jewish perspective. This book could easily have been subtitled, ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Jewish-Christian Relations but Were Afraid to Ask’.... Cogent [and] courageous.”
“Engaging and historically accurate.... The newcomer and the longtime advocate alike can glean considerable wisdom for the task of interreligious interaction.... Well suited for both individual and group study.... Provides the framework for an exercise in interreligious dialogue that a reader could arrange between her or his congregation and a nearby synagogue.”
“Frank and unapologetic.... Not a rehashing of grievances. It is much more than that: at once more profound and more practical.... Remarkably efficient and clearly crafted.”
“Rudin is singularly qualified ... and highly knowledgeable.... The sweep of Rudin’s work is as impressive as it is tightly and accessibly told.”
—National Catholic Reporter
“Rabbi Rudin has written the best guide to Jewish-Christian dialogue that I have ever seen. Popular but sophisticated, sobering but hopeful, it provides a searching analysis of the vocabulary and history of Christian-Jewish relations, reminding us why these relations are so difficult and why they are so important.”
—Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president, Union for Reform Judaism
“Offers us all a Jewish ‘take’ on our times, allowing us to see and hear the news with the eyes and ears of Jews. Here also is a clear-eyed understanding for both Christians and Jews of the evils of establishment, religion and state coupled together, predicated upon replacing suspicion with respect and apathy with empathy. Urgently needed!”
—The Rev. Dr. James M. Dunn, professor of Christianity and public policy, Divinity School at Wake Forest University
“Does not dodge any of the painful issues.... [A] rewarding, always stimulating book.”
—Peter Steinfels, co-director, Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture; former New York Times religion correspondent and columnist
“This is a must-have for anyone interested in the vital story of Christian-Jewish relations. Rabbi Rudin’s polished prose and sharp observations guide the reader on a stimulating journey through time, and provide invaluable insights into the future of one of the world’s most complicated religious relationships. Indispensable for academics, interfaith activists and general readers interested in religion and its impact on world history.”
—Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti-Defamation League
“A vibrant, timely study by one of America’s distinguished leaders and shrewd analysts of the Jewish-Christian encounter. Rudin succeeds brilliantly in laying bare the past and illuminating the present so Jews and Christians may wisely and respectfully press forward to model a more authentic relationship for the good of the other and the future of all humanity.”
—Marvin R. Wilson, PhD, Ockenga Professor of Biblical Studies, Gordon College
“Absolutely the most convenient panoramic analysis of the Jewish-Christian retrospect and prospect I’ve seen.… A masterpiece by the Jewish dean and most seasoned veteran of Jewish-Christian deliberations … penetratingly clear and accessible for all readers.… A clarion call lest gains of recent decades lapse or even dissipate.”
—Rabbi Michael J. Cook, PhD, Bronstein Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati; author, Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment
“This thorough, engaging and accessible [resource] on Jewish-Christian relations examines the complex history of two formidable faith communities and makes concrete suggestions for action. Rudin’s rich experience in Jewish-Christian dialogue is apparent from beginning to end.”
—Rabbi David A. Teutsch, PhD, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and former president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
“Rabbi Rudin has brought his wealth of experience and uncommon wisdom to shed light on the complex world of interreligious relations. Important and useful.”
—Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee
“A comprehensive overview of a half century of Christian-Jewish relations. Rudin brings his long central involvement in the Christian-Jewish dialogue to bear in insightful ways on the major theological and political issues central to that conversation.”
—John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago)