Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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change either — which is ano ther way o f saying that the plight o f
the German church is the plight o f Christians everywhere (cf.
Samuel Sandmel,
Anti-Semitism in the New Testament?,
Press, 1978;
Judaism and Christian Beginnings
, Oxford Univ. Press,
1978; Gerard S. Sloyan,
Jesus on Trial,
Fortress Press, 1973; Haim
Cohn’s sadly neglected but definitive
The Trial and Death ofJesus,
H arper and Row, 1971; and John Koenig,
Jews and Christians in
Dialogue: New Testament Foundations,
Westminster Press, 1979).
T here are, however, some hopefully developing signs in Ger­
many. Thus, a younger scholar in Berlin, Peter von d er Osten-
Sacken, even dares to say that “once the link between the Gospels’
totalitarian claim and Christian hostility to the Jews is realized, a
new light falls on the relationship between political anti-Judaism
as a totalitarian ideology and Christian anti-Judaism. Both are
then seen to be closely and unsuspectedly akin” (“Anti-Judaism in
Christian Theology,”
Christian Attitudes on Jews and Judaism,
gust 1977, pp. 1-6). A gain ,
Christen undJuden
(Gerd Mohn, 1975),
a study by the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany
(EKD), was p repa red by churchmen whose consciences have been
much afflicted by the
They see a special duty fo r the
Christians o f Germany: to oppose the
tha t today
cloaks itself in the form o f politically and socially motivated anti-
Zionism and anti-Israelism. We are advised tha t Christians have a
peculiar obligation to suppo rt the independence and security of
Israel — not alone as a political entity or achievement bu t also as
the people o f God in the ir continuing integrity. A small bu t
dedicated g roup o f Christian thinkers in Germany is pledged to
fight the terrib le Christian anti-Semitism tha t issued in the
Holocaust. These people include (all bu t one having been in­
volved in
Christen undJuden):
Otto Betz, Helmut Gollwitzer, Franz
von Hammerstein, Martin Hengel, Heinz Kremers, Friedrich-
Wilhelm M arquardt, Reinhold Mayer, Rudolf Pfisterer, Rolf
Rendtorff, H e rber t Schmid, and Martin Stohr. A companion
piece to
Christen und Juden
has been published, edited by Profes­
sor R end to rff and directed to the laity:
Arbeitsbuch Christen und
(Gerd Mohn, 1979). See Reinhold Mayer
, Judentum und
(Pattloch Verlag, 1973); Rudolf Pfisterer,
Von A — Bis
Z, Quellen zu Fragen um Juden und Christen
(Verlag Gladbeck,