Restating the Catholic Church's Relationship with the Jewish People: The Challenge of Super-Sessionary Theology

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This volume outlines some of the attempts to produce a theology to replace super-sessionary theology since the Nostra Aetate and the issues that remain, including the question of mission and the Jews.


“Clearly, super-sessionism must be eradicated from the Church’s worship, theology, and teaching, but this is an extraordinary, daunting, and long-term challenge, as Pawlikowski shows us…Nothing less than a reconstruction of Christology and soteriology is needed to remove super-sessionism, root and branch…”
-Dr. John Nilson,
Loyola University, Chicago

Table of Contents

Abstract –i
Foreword – v
Preface - vii
Acknowledgements – ix
Part I:
Super-sessionary Theology: Historical Roots – 1
a) The Church Fathers -2
b) Continuation of that Tradition after the Patristic period -7
c) Representation in Christian Art and Architecture -10
Part II: Super-sessionary Theology: The II Vatican Council’s Response - 13
a) Origins of Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate -13
b) Content of Nostra Aetate. Chapter Four -16
c) New Thinking about Paul -18
Part III: Building a Replacement for the Classical Super-sessionist Theology: Initial Efforts – 21
a) Early Single Covenantal Models: Hellwig, Dubois, Martini, Remaud, van Buren -22
b) Early Double Covenantal Models: Mussner, Thoma, Metz – 32
Part IV: Building a Replacement for the Classical Super-sessionary Theology: More Recent Efforts – 39
a) Moving Beyond the Single/Double Covenantal Models: Soulen – 39
b) Integrating the Church into the Jewish Covenant: Williamson – 42
c) An Institutional Perspective: Cardinal Walter Kasper – 42
d) A Logos Approach: Cunningham and Pollefeyt – 47
Part V: A Constructive Proposal to Resolve the Theological Tension – 53
a) Christological Development Slow in Coming – 55
b) Christology Cannot Be Avoided in the Dialogue – 56
Part VI: Can Pauline Thinking About Christ Undergird a Positive Christian-Jewish Relationship? – 59>br> a) Emergence of a vision of Paul as a Jew – 59
b) Key Texts in understanding Paul and Judaism: Galatians 3; Romans 9-11; Colossians 1:15-20 -62
c) Covenantal Thinking in Pauline Literature -66
d) Rethinking E.P. Sanders on Rethinking Paul -70
Part VII: Towards a Contemporary Theological Vision for the Christian-Jewish Relationship – 77
a) Incarnational Christology is Key – 77
b) Transparency in the Divine-Human Relationship: The Root of Christology – 70
c) “Reign of God”; A Critical Notion for a Theology of the Christian – Jewish Relationship -81
d) The Pontifical Biblical Commission’s Document on the Jews and their Scriptures in the New Testament – 83
e) Inconsistencies and Ambiguities in Catholic Teaching on Christian-Jewish Relations -86
f) Reflectionson Covenant and Mission – 90
g) Dialogue and Mission in the Context of Christian-Jewish Relations – 91
Part VIII: Conclusions -95
Bibliography - 101
Index – 111

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