After the Evil

After the Evil : Christianity and Judaism in the Shadow of the Holocaust

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The evil of the holocaust demands a radical rethink of the traditional Christian understanding of Judaism. This does not mean jettisoning Christianity's deepest convictions in order to make it conform to Judaism. Rather, Richard Harries develops the work of recent Jewish scholarship to discern resonances between central Christian and Jewish beliefs.

This thought-provoking book offers fresh approaches to contentious and sensitive issues. A key chapter on the nature of forgiveness is sympathetic to the Jewish charge that Christians talk much too easily about forgiveness. Another chapter on suffering in Judaism and Christianity rejects the usual stereotypes and argues for important common ground, for example in the idea that God suffers in the suffering of his people. There are also chapters on the state of Israel and the place of Jerusalem
in Christian and Jewish thought.

Richard Harries argues that the basic covenant is not with either Judaism or Christianity but with humanity. These, like other religions, are different, distinctive voices in response to God's primal affirmation of human life, which for Christians is achieved and given in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the light of this the author maintains - controversially - that Christians should not be trying to convert Jews to Christianity. Rather Jews and Christians should stand together and build on the great amount they have in common to work together for a better world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 117 x 195 x 15mm | 412g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • full colour frontispiece
  • 0199263132
  • 9780199263134
  • 2,130,853

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The Unspeakable Evil ; 2. After the Evil - What? ; 3. Jewish and Christian Responses to Suffering ; 4. Forgive and Forget? ; 5. The Covenant with Humanity ; 6. Should Christians Try to Convert Jews? ; 7. Israel in Christian Thought ; 8. Jerusalem in Religious Perspective ; 9. Jewish Attitudes Towards Christianity ; 10. The Jewish Jesus and the Christian Christ ; 11. Shared Hope and a Common Task ; 12. The Unfinished Agenda
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Review quote

... deep, philosophical, and interesting. * Andrew Marr, Start the Week R4 * As a testament to repentance and an earnest of reconciliation, After the Evil is a vaulable contribution to ecumenical debate. * Daniel Johnson, Sunday Telegraph * What shines through this book is the bishop's genuine respect for the teachings of Judaism, and an empathy for other faiths that makes him an outstanding exemplar of true ecumenism. * The Independent Magazine * ... the book is an optimistic one, and benefits from Harries' lifelong commitment to Jewish-Christian dialogue, along with his easy familiarity with both Christian and Jewish sources on the issues of evil, suffering and forgiveness. What stands out in particular is Harries' refusal to avoid the difficult issues that arise and confront them directly and intelligently ... highly recommended. * The Door * It is an avowedly personal statement which makes it all the more attractive and interesting ... anyone who wishes to engage in real dialogue with Jews will have to come to terms with the issues debated so honestly and forthrightly in this book. * The Expository Times * This is a book which challenges everyone who is searching for meaning in life, and who dares to hope that it is possible for us to reach out to one another across the divides of religious prejudice, politics and deeply embedded fears ... This book conveys an exciting sense of hope in the face of fearful events. * The Way *
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About Richard Harries

Richard Harries has been Bishop of Oxford since 1987, prior to which he was Dean of King's College, London. He has been involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue for more than twenty years, including nine as Chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews. He has also been a parish priest and a lecturer in Christian doctrine.
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