Christian-Jewish relations have come a long, long way over the past half century.
But, as we all know, challenges arise from time to time. You never really arrive when it comes to such a complicated dialogue, so you just keep talking.
A group called the International Council of Christians and Jews — an umbrella group for 38 national dialogues — has just issued a new 12-point plan for continuing to build and strengthen the Christian-Jewish relationship.
It’s called A Time for Recommitment.
Anyone familiar with the issues that arise between Christians and Jews will recognize much of what’s written.
For instances, Christians are asked:
To develop theological understandings of Judaism that affirm its distinctive integrity
And Jews are asked:
To acknowledge the efforts of many Christian communities in the late 20th century to reform their attitudes toward Jews
The authors of the paper include some Americans who are veterans of this country’s Christian-Jewish dialogue, including Sister Mary Boys, Judith Banki, Philip Cunningham, Father John Pawlikowski and Michael Signer.
The paper also includes a nice overview of the history of Christian-Jewish relations.
It includes this:
We are learning to better appreciate the different memories and agendas that Christians and Jews bring to their exchanges. We are convinced that authentic dialogue never seeks to persuade the other of one’s own truth claims, but rather to change one’s own heart by understanding others on their own terms, to whatever degree possible. In fact, interreligious dialogue in the fullest sense of the term is impossible if any of the parties harbor desires to convert the other. It is also the general experience of both Christians and Jews that interreligious dialogue provides deeper insights into one’s own religious tradition.