The author finds the roots of modern anti-Semitism in Christianity itself. The followers of Christ believed themselves to be the true heirs of the covenant with God that the Jews had rejected. Even their scriptures - the New Testament - express a deep distrust of the tradition into which Christ himself was born. As the centuries unfold in a grim and unrelenting chronicle, the Jewish people are vilified for their role in Jesus' death and for rejecting him as their saviour. They are caricatured as a dark force seeking to undermine Chritianity, whether by political or supernatural means. The book concludes with a study of anti-Semitism in post-war Europe, where the church has at last made some attempt to repent for past sins, and to open a meaningful exchange with its Jewish brothers and sisters. The author argues that this initiative is vital.
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With such a piercing title, Cohn-Sherbok (theology, Univ. of Kent; Jewish Mysticism, LJ 4/1/96) emphatically frames his lengthy monolog, chiefly focusing on the Christian roots of historical and institutional anti-Semitism. Such bigotry is a constant in historical Christendom: "Anti-Jewish attitudes in the history of the Church were not accidental?rather they were the direct consequence of Christian teaching about Judaism and the Jewish nation." Cohn-Sherbok excels at describing the effects of anti-Semitism both on the Jewish community and the historical Judaic psyche. His grasp of history is far-ranging. However, depth and critical analysis are wanting, rendering many of his conclusions more mechanical and polemical than engaging. Imprecision of language weakens his text; he utilizes "Christian" where perhaps "New Testament" or "institutional Church" might be apropos. Issues of historical context are too often not raised. Scholars might first consider Gavin Langmuir's more thorough History, Religion and Anti-Semitism (Univ. of California. Pr., 1990).?Sandra Collins, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Lib.
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Cohn-Sherbok's accessible account will introduce a general audience to the historical depth of Christian anti-Semitism as well as its geographic breadth. This is not groundbreaking work--the material assembled here is readily accessible in more scholarly accounts--but Cohn-Sherbok has rendered an important service by popularizing the material. Both his introduction and his conclusion emphasize the contemporary relevance of the account: that anti-Semitism is not a historical relic. Knowing its history may enable contemporary readers to confront it more effectively whenever and wherever it shows itself in the present. Steve Schroeder
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Book Description Fount, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002159945
Book Description Fount, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002159945