The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler

Spring books

One of the most interesting shifts in Christian theology after the Shoah was in how the adjective Jewish was used. In the patristic era, to call someone’s work Jewish was to insult it: the work was too fleshly or legalistic. Since the Shoah, to call someone’s work Jewish is to praise it as appropriately this-worldly, concerned with the ordinary stuff of life, embodied. This 180-degree turn in rhetoric is summed up nicely in an anecdote Stanley Hauerwas likes to use. A former colleague of his, a rabbi, used to say, “No religion is interesting that fails to tell its adherents what to do with their pots and pans and genitals.” How Jewish. In a 20th-century sort of way.

 

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