Joseph Ratzinger / Benedikt XVI. über das JudentumBemerkungen aus aktuellem Anlass

Abstract

Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI on Judaism: Notes on a recent Controversy. The article defends the most recent publication by Papa emeritus Benedict XVI on Judaism against the accusation of Christian antisemitism and anti-Judaism. Benedict XVI does not deny neither the permanent election and mission of the People of Israel, nor the covenant towards Israel, which was never renounced by God. But his remarks need to be confronted with three critical questions: concerning the historical weight of the theory of supersessionism, the foundation of the state of Israel and the justification of the permanent election and mission of Israel in covenant theology. The notion that the Church had taken the place of Israel in the plan of salvation was fatally influential in the history of theology. The state of Israel can not only be justified by natural law, if the land promise is a constitutive part of the unredeemed promises of God to Israel. The claim of the Jews to Jerusalem must not be denied by the Christian side. God’s covenant faith applies also to Israel. This conviction was expressed by John Paul II when he spoke of God’s unbroken covenant. Benedict XVI rightly rejects the theory of One Covenant or two parallel paths of salvation for the Jews (Torah) and the Gentiles ( Jesus Christ). However, for the Christian-Jewish Dialogue it is of exceeding importance that the Church lives in solidarity with the Jews until the Parousia of the Messiah Jesus at the end of time – in respect of Israel’s self-interpretation as God’s people.

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