Wednesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m.
A QUESTION OF ANTISEMITISM:
HISTORICAL QUESTIONS, CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES
“Jesus was a rabbi” proclaimed nineteenth- century Jewish historians – much to the dismay of their Christian colleagues. Although today nearly everyone acknowledges the Jewishness
of Jesus, such affirmations were startling and uncomfortable a hundred and fifty years ago. Christian theologians responded to Jewish claims with anger and anxiety. How were they
to preserve something unique and original about Jesus in light of historical context and
comparisons? Using racial theory, it was argued that Jesus was not a Jew, but an Aryan – even
a suggestion that he had been born in Germany. During the Nazi era, Protestant theologians
created a synthesis of Christianity and Nazi antisemitism, purging the Christian Bible of the
Old Testament and removing every positive statement about Judaism in the New Testament.
What about the 21st century? What should be on our agenda of interfaith dialogue in the coming years? And who should speak for us?