"Coming Together for the Sake of God presents the records of more than two decades of Christian-Jewish dialogue that began in 1979 in Post-Holocaust Germany. The theological statements and reflections that leading German and American Christian and Jewish scholars and clergy offer upon these documents immeasurably supplement and enrich the documents contained in this volume, and mark the book as one of both historic and contemporary theological significance. Hanspeter Heinz and Michael Signer have created a work of genuine religious gravitas that is remarkable for its honesty and depth of insight. In light of the sad history of the Holocaust as well as the violence of contemporary events, Coming Together for the Sake of God provides more than a ray of hope that understanding can be achieved in a world where persons of goodwill strive for reconciliation." -- Rabbi David Ellenson, President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
"For over thirty years a group of Jews and Catholics in Germany have been engaged in intense dialogue under the sponsorship of the Central Committee of German Catholics. Their encounter is especially significant given that it occurred in the horrible shadow of the Shoah, but also because of the historical polemics between Catholics and Protestants that shaped both communities' relations with Jews. A deep sense of trust must have developed within the discussion group "Jews and Christians" since it was able to grapple profoundly with such sensitive topics as: suffering, guilt, and reconciliation; law and grace; the adequacy and consistency of post-Nostra Aetate Cahtolic teaching; the centrality of Israel for Jews and the Holy Land's importance for Christians and Muslims; interreligious dialogue and conversionary desires; and the covenantal status of Jews and Christians. Everyone on this side of the Atlantic who is concerned about Christian-Jewish relations has much to learn from this German experience and ought to be grateful that these dialogue documents have now been made available in English." -- Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Executive Director, Centre for Christian-Jewish Learning, Boston College
"This book offers insights into contemporary scholarship about the relationship between the Church and the Jewish People, especially as derived from a significant dialogue in Germany. While we are tempted to treat other times in the light of our own, the authors have generally, but not completely, rejected that path and crafted a work that is provocative and challenging. The inclusion of articles by prominent American writers makes the book more useful and up to date on this side of the Atlantic." -- Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archdiocese of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
"Who would have thought that Jewish-Christian Dialogue has reached its deepest level of late in Germany of all places? Yet, this excellent new volume edited by Hanspeter Heinz and Michael Signer demonstrates for all to see how this amazing process of reconciliation between Jews and Christians has taken place there in an impressive theological way. With its combination of original documents, penetrating commentary, and suggestive discussion, Coming Together for the Sake of God should be a primary source book in any course, formal or informal, dealing with the radically reconstituted Jewish-Christian relationship in and for our time." -- David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto
About the Author
Father Hanspeter Heinz is Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at the University of Augsburg, and President of the Jewish-Christian Discussion Group of the Central Committee of German Catholics. He is a priest of the diocese of Cologne and serves as a pastor in Bavaria.
Michael A. Signer is Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project. He is an ordained Rabbi and serves as the Co-chair of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Fr. Heinz and Rabbi Signer edited and selected the material for this volume, and have developed collaborative projects between Jews and Christians from the USA, Germany, Poland, and Israel.