JUDAISM: POSSIBILITY OF NEW PERSPECTIVES. A STUDY IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
After centuries of theological stagnation, a radical shift has occurred in the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Until the midpoint of this century Christianity viewed Judaism as a rejected religion whose people witnessed to the truth of Christian claims by their suffering and exile. The mainstream of Christian thought has now revised its theological opinion, declaring Judaism a valid, living witness to God's call. This dissertation concentrates on the evolving attitudes of Christians in America towards Judaism in the post-Holocaust period in an attempt to understand the historical and theological process that moved Christians to challenge previously unquestioned theological assumptions. The focus of this dissertation is on the shift in Christian theology regarding Judaism as it occurred in the American Christian community and on the attempt of American Christian theologians to ground a new relationship between the Church and Synagogue on a revised Christian theology. It examines the unique aspects of the American experience that served as a catalyst in effecting the theological change. My methodology has been primarily historical as my research has shown the importance of historical events as motivating factors in the theological revision. This approach also reveals the uncritical theological position of the past. Three key elements, the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel and the impact of the American experience in interpreting these events moved the Christian community to revise its theological opinion of Judaism. Confrontation with the Holocaust and the existence of Israel theologically and morally challenged traditional Christian positions and led Christian theology back into the realm of history, allowing for the impact of secular events to affect theology. The American experience of adaptability and the proclivity to act out of pragmatic considerations undercut the stasis of orthodoxy. The discomfort of Americans with the traditional Christian position on Judaism provided the experiential base necessary for the theological shift in the Christian perspective. This discomfort brought a change in Christian practice and showed the need for a new Christian theology of Judaism with the possibility of new theological directions within Christianity.
BARBARA GAE TURNER,
"JUDAISM: POSSIBILITY OF NEW PERSPECTIVES. A STUDY IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY"
(January 1, 1982).
Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations.