Skip to main content

Eliah Benamozegh, Franz Rosenzweig and Their Blueprint of a Jewish Theology of Christianity

  • Meir Seidler (a1)

In Jewish philosophy, be it medieval or modern, a comprehensive Jewish theological discourse about Christianity is conspicuously absent. There are, however, two prominent exceptions to this rule in modern Jewish philosophy: The Italian Sephardic Orthodox Rabbi Eliah Benamozegh (1823–1900) and the German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929). In both men's thought, Christianity plays a pivotal (and largely positive) role, so much so that their Jewish philosophies would not be the same without Christianity, which has no precedent in Jewish thought. Though Rosenzweig was not aware of his Sephardic predecessor, there are some striking parallels in the two thinker's Jewish theologies of Christianity that have far-reaching interreligious implications. These parallels concern as well the basic paradigm for a positive evaluation of Christianity—the paradigm of the fire (particularist Judaism) and its rays (universal Christianity)—as well as the central flaw both of them attribute to Christianity: a built-in disequilibrium that threatens the success of its legitimate mission. These parallels are all the more striking as two thinkers arrived at their conclusions independently and by different paths: the one (Benamozegh) took recourse to Kabbalah, the other (Rosenzweig) to proto-existentialist philosophy. A comparative study of these two protagonists’ Jewish theologies of Christianity seems thus imperative.

An “interreligious epilogue” at the end of the article exposes the contemporary need for a reassessment of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity from a Jewish perspective—especially in light of the deep theological revision that characterizes the approach of the Catholic Church towards Jews and Judaism following “Nostra Aetate”—but at the same time delineates the theological limits of the current Christian-Jewish interreligious endeavor. In this light, the pioneering theology of Christianity in the works of Rosenzweig and Benamozegh might yield some relevant insights.

Hide All

1 This statement is no less true for Islam (for similar reasons, see below). However, the present article confines itself to Christianity.

2 For some repercussions of this asymmetry in modern Jewish scholarship, see Goshen-Gottstein, Alon, “Jewish-Christian Relations and Rabbinic Literature—Shifting Scholarly and Relational Paradigms: The Case of Two Powers,” in Interaction between Judaism and Christianity: History, Religion, Art, and Literature (ed. Poorthuis, Marcel et al.; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 1529. This asymmetry is generally dismissed by Christians who seek a dialogue with Judaism. The following statement issued by the Vatican is representative of this tendency: “Israel and the Church remain bound to each other . . . and are interdependent” (§33 in “The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable” (Rom 11:29), A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of “Nostra Aetate” (No.4), [For the significance of this document see below, n. 78]).

3 See Mendelssohn, Moses, Writings on Judaism, Christianity and the Bible (ed. Gottlieb, Michah; Lebanon, NH: Brandeis University Press, 2011) 530.

4 For a discussion of Christianity in modern Jewish thought, see Fleischmann, Jacob, The Problem of Christianity in Modern Jewish Thought (1770–1929) (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1964 [Hebrew]). One of the most striking features emerging from Fleischmann's analytical-comparative study dealing with ten modern Jewish thinkers—though not emphasized enough by the author himself—is precisely the predominant contingent character of the Jewish preoccupation with Christianity, dictated rather by historical circumstances than by an essential theological drive.

5 Kogan, Michael S., Opening the Covenant: A Jewish Theology of Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) is an example of how to deny this fact. Though addressing a great number of issues through the lenses of many Jewish (and some Christian) theologians and presenting this or that insight into the nature of Christianity as it appeared in Jewish thought from the Middle Ages to the modern era, these insights are far from delivering what the sub-title (“A Jewish Theology of Christianity”) promises.

6 For the convenience of English readers, I prefer this phonetical spelling of Benamozegh's first name instead of the spelling “Elijah” as rendered in some other English translations.

7 See section below (“An Interreligious Epilogue”). Though there were similar developments in a number of Protestant churches, I single out the Catholic Church not only because of its demographic primacy but also for its hierarchic and centralized structure that allows for an authoritative spiritual shepherdship over the majority of the Christian population in the world.

8 See the official website of the Vatican, “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions,” 28 October 1965,

9 For a comprehensive discussion and comparison of the responses of the Rabbis Soloveitchik and Heschel, see Kimelman, Reuven, “Rabbis Joseph B. Soloveitchik and Abraham Joshua Heschel on Jewish-Christian Relations,” The Edah Journal 4 (2004) 221.

10 Dabru Emet, 15 July 2002, See also Christianity in Jewish Terms (ed. Tikva Frymer-Kensky et al.; Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000).

11 Isaacs, Alick, “Review of ‘Christianity in Jewish Terms,’” Common Knowledge 8 (2002) 421–22, at 421.

12 Levenson, Jon D., “Judaism Addresses Christianity,” in Religious Foundations of Western Civilization: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (ed. Neusner, Jacob; Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2006) 581608, at 583. In this article, Levenson addresses all the eight theses of Dabru Emet, each of which, according to him, “exemplifies well the common opinion that the purpose of interreligious dialogue is to cultivate commonalities and minimize differences” (ibid., 607).

13 Levenson, Jon D., “How Not to Conduct Jewish-Christian Dialogue,” Commentary 112 (2001) 3137, at 35.

14 It is beyond the scope of this article to address the vast bibliography about Rosenzweig in general and his approach to Christianity in particular, or even the less voluminous but still impressive literature about Benamozegh. For Rosenzweig, see Luc Anckaert and Bernhard M. Casper, Franz Rosenzweig—A Primary and Secondary Bibliography (Leuven: Bibliotheek van de Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid van de K. U. Leuven, 1990). For Benamozegh, see Guetta, Alessandro, “Elia Benamozegh. Bibliografia,” Rassegna Mensile di Israel 53 (1988) 6781. Since these bibliographies were written, numerous other books and articles on Rosenzweig and Benamozegh have been published, including comparative research with others. However, none of these publications deals with the theological affinity between these two thinkers. The special emphasis I lay on the comparative nature of this study should avoid a misunderstanding: I am not dealing with the abundantly discussed topic of Rosenzweig's approach to Christianity, but only with those elements in his theology of Christianity that seem to echo his somewhat less illustrious predecessor.

15 Rosenzweig never mentioned Benamozegh. Benamozegh's posthumous magnum opus Israël et l'humanité (Paris: Ernest Leroux Éditeur, 1914) that contains the main bulk of his views about Christianity was unknown to German-Jewish scholars of his time, with the sole exception of Abraham Berliner (1833–1915) who mentions Benamozegh's writings (including his introduction to Israël et l'humanité that was published already in 1885, see below, n. 18) in his eulogy (Berliner, Abraham, “Rabbi Eliah Benamozegh z.l,” Jüdische Presse XXXI [1900] 8586).

16 For Benamozegh's existentialist leanings see Guetta, Alessandro, Philosophy and Kabbalah. Elijah Benamozegh and the Reconciliation of Western Thought and Jewish Esotericism (Albany, NY: SUNY, 2009) 33. As for Rosenzweig's pre-existentialist existentialism see Levi, Zeev, Mevasser ’eqzistenṣiyalizm Yehudi. Mišnato shel Franz Rosenzweig veyaḥaso lešiṭat Hegel (Tel Aviv: Sifriat Poalim, 1969); see also Fleischmann, The Problem of Christianity in Modern Jewish Thought (1770–1929), 161–64, 170–71.

17 Benamozegh writes so in relation to Kabbalah (Israël et l'humanité, 352), which has also a bearing on the similarities between him and Rosenzweig (see below).

18 For this brief sketch of Benamozegh's life and work see Aimé Pallière's foreword to Israel and Humanity, 31–38. This voluminous work of more than 700 pages was not completed by Benamozegh himself who in his lifetime (1885) published only the introduction to it (i.e., the first 39 pages). It was Benamozegh's Christian admirer and disciple, Aimé Pallière (1868–1949), who (out of more than 2000 original pages of his master's manuscript) compiled and edited this first 1914 edition. There exists a further abbreviated (half-size) French version of 1961. The contemporary extant Hebrew (Eliyahu Benamozegh, Yiśra'el veha'enošut [Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1967]), Italian (Elia Benamozegh, Israele e l'umanità [trans. Marco Morcelli; Genova: Marietti, 1990]), and English translations (Benamozegh, Elijah, Israel and Humanity [trans. Luria, Maxwell; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1995]) are based on the abbreviated 1961 French edition. In the following, I will cite the English translation (Israel and Humanity), except for passages that were omitted in the abbreviated version, or the translation of which deviates from the original French 1914 edition (Israël et l'humanité), in which case I will take recourse to my own translation of the latter.

19 Looking back (in a letter from 2 September 1928), Rosenzweig describes the Jewish education he had received in his parental home as a “tiny thread of tradition” (Franz Rosenzweig, Der Mensch und sein Werk, Gesammelte Schriften I,1, Briefe und Tagebücher [ed. Rachel Rosenzweig and Edith Rosenzweig-Steinmann; 2 vols.; The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1979], 2:1197; this and all following translations from German and French are mine). This “tiny thread”—that according to him consisted only of “Yom Kippur, the Passover meal and Bar Mizva” (ibid.)—seems to have been for him in his youth void of all spirituality. It is therefore no wonder that, when looking for spiritual guidance, he could initially think of no another option than joining Christianity. Only a dramatic personal and theological turnabout brought him back to the (religious) Jewish fold, and he is therefore considered the archetype of the modern Ba'al Teshuva, a reawakened Jew (see Michael Oppenheim's foreword to Franz Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption [trans. Barbara E. Galli; Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2005] XI).

20 Oppenheim's foreword, Star, XI. The generally accepted narrative as to Rosenzweig's return to Judaism has recently been challenged by Pollock, Benjamin, Franz Rosenzweig's Conversions: World Denial and World Redemption (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014). However, Pollock does not dispute (the undeniable fact of) Rosenzweig's near-conversion to Christianity and his return to Judaism (Oppenheim's foreword, Star, X), or his self-attested ignorance in Jewish learning; he rather challenges the common assumptions about the suddenness of Rosenzweig's decision (the Yom Kippur event) as well as its spiritual roots.

21 Friedrich Meinecke (1862–1954) was Rosenzweig's doctoral supervisor, who, in 1920, offered him an attractive academic position, an offer declined by Rosenzweig, who wanted to devote his life to Judaism and Jewish scholarship (see Rosenzweig, Briefe und Tagebücher, 2:680–81).

22 Rosenzweig objected to the characterization of his Star as a “Jewish book” (“It is not a ‘Jewish book’ at all”) and identified it rather as a general “system of philosophy” (Franz Rosenzweig's “The New Thinking” [ed. and trans. Alan Udoff and Barbara E. Galli; Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1999] 69). However, judged by its reception and impact—Rosenzweig's Star features mainly in courses on Jewish philosophy (and not on general philosophy) and is regarded by Christians as exposing a Jewish view on Christianity—his philosophy is generally understood as Jewish philosophy.

23 See Rosenzweig, Briefe und Tagebücher, 2:1216, where Rosenzweig identifies himself as the “great man's” (Judah Halevi's) “medium-sized reincarnation.”

24 See Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, XIII.

25 See b Sanhedrin 56a. For a scholarly discussion of the Noachide law, see Lichtenstein, Aaron, The Seven Laws of Noah (New York: Rabbi Jacob Joseph School Press, 1986). See also Novak, David, Natural Law in Judaism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

26 See Novak, David, The Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism (New York: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1983) 28.

27 Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Book of the Judges, Laws of Kings and their Wars, chapters 8–10.

28 See Kaplan, Lawrence, “Maimonides and Mendelssohn on the Origins of Idolatry, the Election of Israel and the Oral Law,” in Perspectives on Jewish Thought and Mysticism (ed. Ivri, Alfred L., Wolfson, Elliot R., and Arkush, Allan; Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998) 432–33.

29 See Amir, Yehoyada, “New Paths Towards Christianity and Islam in the Thought of Nachman Krochmal and Elijah Benamozegh,” in Die Entdeckung des Christentums in der Wissenschaft des Judentums (ed. Hasselhoff, Görge K.; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010) 229.

30 This novel conception of the Noachide Law presented by Benamozegh was rightly recognized as such by Yehoyada Amir (ibid., 233).

31 Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 51–52.

32 Ibid., 59.

33 Ibid., 51.

34 Benamozegh, Israël et l'humanité, 15. “The most consequent” (“la plus conséquente”) was omitted from the corresponding page (47) in the English translation. For Benamozegh's critique of Protestantism, see Benamozegh, Elia, Jewish and Christian Ethics (Kila, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2008) 15.

35 Benamozegh, Israël et l'humanité, 718.

36 See Aimé Pallière's introduction to “Israël et l'humanité,” XVII–XVIII.

37 Benamozegh confined his conception of the ideal Noachide religion to Christianity though he attributed a positive role—not transcending the views of Halevi and Maimonides—also to Islam (see his Jewish and Christian Ethics, Part Second, Islamism, 1–23). As for Rosenzweig (see below), he strictly limited the universal role to Christianity, rejecting Islam and calling it a “remarkable case of world historical plagiarism” (The Star of Redemption, 128), a “parody” of Judaism and Christianity (The New Thinking, 92) and in fact nothing more than “monistic paganism” (The Star of Redemption, 134). For a useful summary of the criticism as well as a defense of Rosenzweig's approach to Islam, see Cristaudo, Wayne, Religion, Redemption and Revolution: The New Speech-Thinking of Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012) 552–54. See also Gesine Palmer's introduction to Franz Rosenzweig, Innerlich bleibt die Welt eine. Ausgewählte Texte zum Islam (ed. Gesine Palmer and Yossef Schwartz; Berlin: Philo Verlag, 2003) 9–32; Shlomo Pines, “Der Islam im ‘Stern der Erlösung’. Eine Untersuchung zu Tendenzen und Quellen Franz Rosenzweigs,” Hebräische Beiträge zur Wissenschaft des Judentums 3–5 (1987–89) 138–48; Spengler (Goldman, David P.), “Christian, Muslim, Jew: Franz Rosenzweig and the Abrahamic Religions,” First Things: The Journal of Religion, Culture and Public Life 176 (2007) 2933.

38 Judah Halevi, The Kuzari 4:23; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Book of the Judges, Laws of Kings and their Wars, 11:4.

39 Maimonides, Laws of Kings and their Wars, 11:4.

40 Fleischmann, The Problem of Christianity in Modern Jewish Thought (1770–1929), 68–93; See Frishman, Judith, “Good Enough for the Goyim? Samuel Hirsch and Samuel Holdheim on Christianity,” in Interaction between Judaism and Christianity in History, Religion, Art, and Literature (ed. Poorthuis, Marcel et al.; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 278–87.

41 For example, Em Lamikra, 2:10 (on Exodus 3:1).

42 Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 51. This passage in Israel and Humanity is part of Benamozegh's introduction that was published already in his life-time (see above, n. 18) and it breathes the same spirit as the rest of the book. It proves clearly that Fleischmann's assertion (The Problem of Christianity in Modern Jewish Thought (1770–1929), 129–30) that Benamozegh's disciple Aimé Pallière “Christianized” his master's thought is wrong or at least grossly exaggerated (see already Benamozegh's Jewish and Christian Ethics, 38; published in the French original as early as 1867). Thus, the gap between the early writings of Benamozegh and his posthumous Israel and Humanity is not as great as Fleischmann believed. It is true, however, that Pallière who lacked the Jewish erudition necessary to understand fully Benamozegh's thought, misunderstood some of the latter's concepts (for some examples, see Meir Seidler, “A Nineteenth Century Jewish Attempt at Integrativeness: Rabbi Eliahu Benamozegh's Multicultural Approach to Polytheism,” in Yoseph Da‘at: Studies in Modern Jewish History in Honor of Yosef Salmon (ed. Yosef Goldstein; Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 2010) 13 n. 6.

43 Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 210.

44 Isaacs, Alick, “Benamozegh's Tone: A Response to Rabbi Steinsaltz,” Common Knowledge 11 (2005) 4855.

45 I.e., the rabbis of Aleppo who maintained that there were never Jews who embraced the gospels and remained Jews. Their stance was supported by the rabbis of Damascus and finally also endorsed by the rabbis of Jerusalem (see Harel, Yaron, “The Edict to Destroy ‘’Em lammiqra’’—Aleppo 1865,” HUCA 64 [1993] 32 [Hebrew]). The above rabbinical authorities reacted to Benamozegh's Pentateuch commentary ’Em lammiqra’ (Elie Benamozegh, ’Em lammiqra’. Le Pentateuque [5 vols.; Leghorn: Eliahu Benamozegh printing press, 1862–1863]) and not to Israël et l'humanité which was published much later. But their criticism of Benamozegh's positive evaluation of Christianity holds true, of course, for all of his writings.

46 See Idel, Moshe, “Kabbala in Elija Benamozegh's Thought,” attached as appendix to Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 378402, at 388.

47 This holds true for all Christian denominations, even though there is a significant shift away from supersessionism in many of them, including Catholicism, that “most consequent of all Christian denominations” (Israël et l'humanité, 15), see below.

48 Benamozegh, Jewish and Christian Ethics (the French original of which was published in 1867), 38, 50.

49 See above, Introduction.

50 Rosenzweig, Briefe und Tagebücher, 1:250.

51 Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, 438. Below, I refer to the curious insertion “Between the two, he set an enmity for all time.”

52 Ibid., 429.

53 Ibid., 438–39.

54 Ibid., 355; see also 357, 420.

55 Ibid., 368.

56 Ibid., 420.

57 Ibid., 362.

58 Guetta, Philosophy and Kabbalah, 6.

59 Rosenzweig, Franz, Die “Gritli”-Briefe. Briefe an Margrit Rosenstock-Huessy (ed. Rühle, Inken and Mayer, Reinhold; Tübingen: Bilam Verlag, 2002) 405–6.

60 The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable (as in n. 2), §33.

61 Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 169.

62 “Médiocrement instruit” (Benamozegh, Israël et l'humanité, 16).

63 Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity, 104. Besides serving Benamozegh as a tool in his approach to Christianity, the main focus of Benamozegh's theory is the vindication of Kabbalah as antedating Christianity and thus as authentic and antique, a much disputed claim already in Benamozegh's times. The proof for the authenticity and antiquity of Kabbalah was one of Benamozegh's main theological concerns and it occupied him extensively throughout all of his writings, two of which—Eimat Mafgia (Leghorn: Eliahu Benamozegh printing press, 1855) and Ta'am leShad (Leghorn: Eliahu Benamozegh printing press, 1863)—are dedicated primarily to this topic.

64 See Idel, “Kabbala in Elija Benamozegh's Thought,” 395 and 402 n. 59.

65 Cited in Mertens, Bram, Dark Images, Secret Hints: Benjamin, Scholem, Molitor, and the Jewish Tradition (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007) 100; for Molitor, see also Idel, Moshe, Old Worlds, New Mirrors: On Jewish Mysticism and Twentieth Century Thought (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010) 110–11.

66 See Koch, Katharina, Franz Joseph Molitor und die jüdische Tradition. Studien zu den kabbalistischen Quellen der “Philosophie der Geschichte” (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2006) 8788, 168.

67 Benamozegh, Em Lamikra 5:10, 13 (on Deuteronomy 1:13).

68 Benamozegh, Jewish and Christian Ethics, 45.

69 Ibid., 17–18.

70 A forceful and somewhat humorous presentation of Franz Rosenzweig's New Thinking can be found in his book Understanding the Sick and the Healthy: A View of World, Man and God (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

71 Rosenzweig, The New Thinking, 73–85.

72 Rosenzweig, Briefe und Tagebücher, 2:637–38.

73 Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, 357; see also Die “Gritli”-Briefe, 350, 372.

74 Rosenzweig,The Star of Redemption, 437; in a letter from summer 1919, Rosenzweig writes: “The Star (of Redemption) is entirely based on the one premise that Christianity is a lie” (Die “Gritli”-Briefe, 360; see also ibid. 391.).

75 Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, 423–24 [italics added].

76 See above, n. 15.

77 See above, n. 17.

78 The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable (as in n. 2). This document enumerates the main steps taken since 1965 by the Catholic Church to foster Jewish-Christian relations and dialogue, most prominently the 1974 Guidelines, the 1985 Notes (see below, n. 83), statements made by popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI and a most recent statement made by Pope Francis in 2015.

79 The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable (as in n. 2), §37: “Christ is also the Redeemer of the Jews in addition to the Gentiles.”

80 Ibid., §40: “The Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews.”

81 Ibid., §35.

82 Soulen, R. Kendall, “Post-supersessionism” in A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations, (ed. Kessler, Edward and Wenborn, Neil; Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 350. In regard to Pope John Paul II, the most influential Christian promoter of post-supersessionism, Soulen's assessment is echoed by a statement posted 1 April 2004 by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League: “It is safe to say that more change for the better took place in his 27 year Papacy than in the nearly 2000 years before,” in: Pope John Paul II: A Visionary Remembered,”

83 “Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church,”

84 For a survey of the main post-supersessionist theological currents in modern Christianity see Ochs, Peter, Another Reformation: Postliberal Christianity and the Jews (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011). For an example of a radical Christian anti-supersessionist stance, going as far as attributing the nearly 2000 years old supersessionist stance to “the devil quoting Scripture,” see Lindbeck, “Atonement & the Hermeneutics of Intratextual Social Embodiment,” in The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation (ed. Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm; Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1996) 221–40, at 224.

85 An eminent example of such a backlash is the founding of the “Society of Saint Pius X” in 1970. There have been ups and downs in SSPX's relations with the Vatican, the present winds blowing in the direction of reconciliation. The SSPX deplores the abandonment of supersessionism and its rhetoric barely conceals that it regards the relevant passages in Nostra Aetate as heretical. See John Vennari, “Judaism and the Church: Before and After Vatican II,” 11 January 2013,

86 See Ochs, Another Reformation, 61–62 n. 23. Ochs is clearly aware of the inherent dangers of this “reformation” for Christanity, stating “that a doctrine of ‘nonsupersessionism’ might seem to leave Christianity too beholden to Judaism” and specifically referring to Rosenzweig as the archetype of such an approach. Ochs’ concluding remarks in n. 23 reveal the tangle: “If my reflections in this note sound a bit cloudy, it is because they are.” Ochs concludes deliberating on the limits of the religious need for “self-affirmation of some sort of superiority,” clearly testifying to the theological problems an overall abandonment of supersessionism might create for Christian theology and practice.

87 The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable, §35 [as in n. 2, italics added]. See also §37: “There cannot be two ways of salvation.”

88 Ibid., §36.

89 Ibid. [italics added].

90 For example, ibid. §37: “Here we confront the mystery of God's work, which is not a matter of missionary efforts to convert Jews, but rather the expectation that the Lord will bring about the hour when we will all be united” [italics added].

91 See Michael, Robert, A History of Catholic Antisemitism: The Dark Side of the Church (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

92 See Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church (1985) VI:1 [italics in original].

93 Ibid.

94 See Robert Michael, A History of Catholic Antisemitism.

95 See Ochs, Another Reformation, 1–2.

96 Rosenzweig's philosophy reached far beyond the philosophical ivory tower and was already at his time widely acclaimed in Jewish circles, including by leading protagonists among his German-Jewish Orthodox contemporaries (such as Isaac Breuer [1883–1946] and Joseph Carlebach [1983–1942]) who unanimously praised his Star (see Horovitz, Rivka, “Exile and Redemption in the Thought of Isaac Breuer,” Tradition 26 [1992] 79; Carlebach, Joseph, “Der Stern der Erlösung von Franz Rosenzweig. Ein Versuch zu seiner Würdigung,” Jeschurun 7–8 [1926] 333–40, and 9–10 [1926] 501–18).

97 See above.

98 See above, Introduction and n. 2 there.

99 See Morrow, Patrick, “Christian and Jewish Christian Particularities,” in Jews and Christians: Perspectives on Mission (ed. Langton, Daniel, Silverman, Reuven, Morrow, Patrick; Cambridge: Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths, 2011) 2345, at 30.

100 Levenson, “How Not,” 31–37. See above, notes 12–13.

101 See Batnitzky, Leora, “Dialogue as Judgment, Not Mutual Affirmation: A New Look at Franz Rosenzweig's Dialogical Philosophy,” The Journal of Religion 29.4 (1999) 523–44, at 537–41. See also, idem, Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000) 224, 227.

102 Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, 438 [italics added].

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Harvard Theological Review
  • ISSN: 0017-8160
  • EISSN: 1475-4517
  • URL: /core/journals/harvard-theological-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed