cover image Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification

Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification

David Novak. Oxford University Press, USA, $37.5 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-19-505084-4

Some Jewish traditionalists are opposed to a dialogue between Jews and Christians; it is to these Jews especially that Novak directs this philosophical justification for seeking a common ground between the two faiths. Yet general readers, whatever their religion, will find many strands of the argument of considerable interest. A rabbi and a professor at City University of New York, Novak surveys the theological wrangling between Jews and gentiles through the centuries. He ponders Jews' attempts to reconstruct a Jewish Jesus, assesses the threat that modern secularism poses to both faiths, and updates Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides and German translator Franz Rosenweig, one of the first 20th-century Jews to embark on a sustained dialogue with Christians. Delving deeply into scriptural, rabbinical and secular philosophical sources, Novak promotes mutual tolerance and understanding between the two faiths with the goal of helping each to fulfill its separate destiny and redemptive vision. (Sept.)