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Catholic Teaching About and Relations with Jews since World War II

After the horrifying events of the Shoah, the Catholic and many other Christian communities felt morally compelled to ask whether centuries of Christian religious hostility to Jews and their marginalization in medieval Christendom helped make possible their genocide under the Third Reich. This program will consider how difficult it was for theologians to grapple with the “blood curse” tradition that had permeated Christian thought for over a millennium. However, once they began to reject that notion, unprecedented theological possibilities for a positive relationship between Christians and Jews became apparent. Using Vatican texts in particular, the presentation will trace the incremental theological developments and key benchmarks in a process that led to the formulation that Christians and Jews are co-covenanting companions.

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