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01291--Write a short note on modern developments in Jewish-Christian relations.


The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) recognized that God’s covenant with the Jewish people remains intact. The church repudiated antisemitism and the charge that Jews were collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.  Given that the covenant between God and the Jews is intact, there is no need for Jews to convert to Christianity to achieve salvation.

Beyond the Catholic world, there have also been major efforts in promoting Jewish-Christian dialogue. A recent statement (2002) by the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations made the following points:
   1. God’s covenant with the Jewish people endures forever.
   2. Jesus lived and died as a faithful Jew.
   3. Ancient rivalries must not define contemporary relations.
   4. Judaism is a living faith, enriched by many centuries of development.
   5. Christians should not target Jews for conversion.
   6. We affirm the importance of the Land of Israel for the life of the Jewish people.
   7. Christians should work with Jews for the healing of the world.

Since the Shoah, Jews have also struggled to redefine their relationship with Christians.  On the level of cooperation with Christian groups concerning social and political issues of social justice, there has been widespread participation throughout the mainstream Jewish community. In terms of religious dialogue, there remain elements within Orthodoxy that are either suspicious of Christian conversionary activity or convinced that nothing positive can come from such dialogue. In the words of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik: “Each religious community is endowed with intrinsic dignity and metaphysical worth.”

    Other Jews, including some Orthodox, are willing to engage in inter-religious dialogue. Dabru Emet is a recent statement by Jews on Christians and Christianity.
        a. Jews and Christians worship the same God.
        b. Jews and Christians accept the moral principles of Torah.
        c. The humanly irreconcilable difference between Jews and Christians will not be settled until God redeems the entire world, as promised in Scripture.
        d. A new relationship between Jews and Christians will not weaken Jewish practice.

[Courtesy : Professor Shai Cherry]

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