Abraham Joshua Heschel and Nostra Aetate: Shaping the Catholic Reconsideration of Judaism during Vatican II

Joshua Furnal
2016 Religions  
Although Nostra Aetate is only comprised of five short paragraphs, this document represents a turning point, not just for Catholic-Jewish relations, but also sketches the fundamental aims of embodying the Christian faith in a pluralistic age. There is a complex but important narrative that needs to be revisited so that we do not forget the ways in which Catholic learning has developed, and how this development has often been prompted by non-Catholics. In this article, I will re-examine some
more » ... re-examine some crucial details in the back-story of the formulation of Nostra Aetate and offer some observations about the potential consequences of omitting these details. My argument is that some recent events and scholarship suffer from a form of amnesia about the role that Jewish people have played in the development of Catholic learning-a form of amnesia that manifests in explicit proselytizing tendencies. In particular, I want to highlight the role that Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel played during the Second Vatican Council as an instructive example for Catholic-Jewish dialogue today.
doi:10.3390/rel7060070 fatcat:piqvg5nhlrb6hodqkf4q7zwiym