Future Directions for Christian Theology and Ethics after the Holocaust

  • Katharina von Kellenbach
Chapter

Abstract

As the next generation of Jewish and Christian thinkers is taking on the legacy of the Holocaust, there is good reason to rejoice in the increased dialogue between Jews and Christians and the diversity of methodologies that characterize religious wrestling with the Holocaust. Christian theologians have much to learn from Jewish thinkers such as David Blumenthal, Richard Rubenstein, Emil Fackenheim and Elie Wiesel in their quest to formulate religious responses to the Shoah. There is some hope that the Holocaust will serve to increase Christian consciousness of Judaism as a separate, vital religious tradition and that the study of Christian anti-Judaism may play a greater role in Christian education. Such greater openness on the part of Christian theologians to listen to Jewish voices and to take the experience of the Jewish victims of Christian and racist persecution seriously was long overdue and constitutes a necessary first step. But there is also a certain temptation among Christian theologians to integrate the Jewish struggle with the Holocaust too easily into an essentially Christian framework. Such an embrace of the Jewish victim perspective would erase the peculiar perspective of the Christian tradition vis à vis the Holocaust. Christian theologians must be vigilant against any attempt to expropriate the theological perspective of the Jewish victims.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Katharina von Kellenbach

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