Theological Significance of the Rebirth of the State of Israel

Different Christian Attitudes

by Petra Heldt and Malcolm Löwe1This article is based on a lecture given to a seminar for Israeli tour guides at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research, Jerusalem, November 28, 1988. It was first published in pamphlet form by the American Jewish Committee in honor of the eightieth birthday of its Honorary President, Philip Hoffman, through a special grant from Ellen Falk Hirsch of Jerusalem. This initiative came from Dr. Ronald Kronish, Director of the Israel Office of the AJC, and Dr. M. Bernard Resnikoff, Emeritus Director and continuing Consultant on Interreligious Affairs at the Israel Office. Our thanks go also to Rev. Raphael Bonanno, OFM, Rev. Paul Hoffman and Rev. Dr. Thomas Hughson for comments and criticisms that were taken into account in this revised version. While the authors are grateful for discussions with various members of the Ecumenical Fraternity, the account given here is that of the authors alone and should not be construed in any sense as an expression of views by the Fraternity.

The Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel, from its inception in 1966 until today, has constantly observed and evaluated developments in Christian attitudes toward Judaism in official statements by various Christian churches, starting with the Second Vatican Council. In view of the fortieth anniversary of the State of Israel in 1988, it is appropriate to consider how far those developments include any change of attitude in theology and church policy toward the State of Israel. Continue reading

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1. This article is based on a lecture given to a seminar for Israeli tour guides at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research, Jerusalem, November 28, 1988. It was first published in pamphlet form by the American Jewish Committee in honor of the eightieth birthday of its Honorary President, Philip Hoffman, through a special grant from Ellen Falk Hirsch of Jerusalem. This initiative came from Dr. Ronald Kronish, Director of the Israel Office of the AJC, and Dr. M. Bernard Resnikoff, Emeritus Director and continuing Consultant on Interreligious Affairs at the Israel Office. Our thanks go also to Rev. Raphael Bonanno, OFM, Rev. Paul Hoffman and Rev. Dr. Thomas Hughson for comments and criticisms that were taken into account in this revised version. While the authors are grateful for discussions with various members of the Ecumenical Fraternity, the account given here is that of the authors alone and should not be construed in any sense as an expression of views by the Fraternity.