Opening the Covenant: A Jewish Theology of Christianity

Paperback | October 24, 2012

byMichael S. Kogan

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The Vatican II Council of 1965 signaled a new era in the relationship of the Jewish and Christian faiths. Determined to free the Church of the anti-Jewish polemic which led to such widespread suffering of the innocent, Catholic authorities completely revised their conceptions of Jews andJudaism. Soon, many mainstream Protestant churches also issued a series of official statements that affirm the eternal nature of God's ancient covenant with Israel. An entirely new category of theology emerged as part of the developing Jewish-Christian dialogue, and gradually Jewish theologiansbegan to respond. Opening the Covenant represents a significant advance in Jewish thinking about Christianity. Michael Kogan delves deep into the theologies of the two faiths to locate precise points of difference and convergence. He sees Christianity as the breaking open of the original Covenant to include Gentilepeoples. God has brought this about, says Kogan, through the work of Jesus and his interpreters. If Christianity is a divinely inspired movement, then Judaism must reevaluate its truth-claims. This will in no way compromise the truth of Judaism itself but will cause Jews to understand their ownfaith more fully by locating it in the larger context of God's universal redemptive plan. Kogan calls for each tradition to receive the wisdom of the other as a means of self-understanding. Once each faith is freed to find God's purpose in the other, the way will be open to a liberating pluralism in which Jews and Christians come to see each other as Israelite siblings sharing auniversal role as God's witnesses, the builders of God's Kingdom on Earth. Neither faith can do this world-redemptive work alone. Kogan argues that an affirmation of one's own religion can still provide space for the truth of the "other," and presents a theory of multiple revelations of truth flowing from the one God of all.

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The Vatican II Council of 1965 signaled a new era in the relationship of the Jewish and Christian faiths. Determined to free the Church of the anti-Jewish polemic which led to such widespread suffering of the innocent, Catholic authorities completely revised their conceptions of Jews andJudaism. Soon, many mainstream Protestant churche...

Michael Kogan is Professor of Religious Studies and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Montclair State University. He is an active participant in the Jewish-Christian theological dialogue.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199926204

ISBN - 13:9780199926206

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Defining Our Terms2. The Question of the Messiah3. Three Jewish theologians of Christianity4. Affirming the Other's Theology: How Far Can Jews and Christians go?5. The Forty Years' Peace: Christian Churches Reevaluate Judaism6. Engaging Two Contemporary Theologians of the Dialogue7. Into Another Intensity: Christian-Jewish Dialogue Moves Forward8. Truth and Fact in Religious Narrative9. Bringing the Dialogue Home10. Does Politics Trump Theology? The Israeli-Palestinean Dispute Invades the Jewish-Christian Dialogue11. Toward a Pluralist Theology of JudaismNotesBibliographyIndex