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Faith and Fratricide Paperback – September 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0965351751 ISBN-10: 0965351750 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965351750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965351751
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
This book tells first the birth of Christianity through gnosticism.
Markku Auramo
The latter being that this book gave me hope that Christians can be faithful without relying on Anti-Judaic polemics or Anti-Semitism, theological or otherwise.
Jason Bloomberg
It's not often that such an academic subject is turned into a book read for pleasure, but Ruether has done so.
Rivkah Maccaby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Rivkah Maccaby on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have never read a better book on Anti-Semitism. Ruether is a well-known Christian theologian, whose original thinking has both spawned and solved great questions.
This book is a study of the phenomena behind anti-Semitism, but it is unlike any other study of this subject. The author traces the history of Jewish/Christian conflicts back much further than the early churches of Paul, where most authors begin. Ruether looks all the way back to the division of Christian Jews from other Jews over disputes in interpreting the Torah, and books of prophecy.
The study considers the social pressures of the early church to balance somehow the connection to Judaism, and the pressures from the burgeoning state of Rome, but she strips this question entirely of apologetics, demonstrating that deliberate choices were made, not out of desperation, but often for personal gain.
Reuther doesn't pull her punches. When there is blame to be laid, she lays it squarely on the head of the guilty party. But don't think that this is some kind of book of grudges. Ruether is an highly qualified historian and theologian who crosses all her t's and dots her i's. Before she makes any statements of guilt, she builds an extraordinarily strong case, that will have you sadly nodding your head.
Ruether writes with a light touch, never belaboring a point, so the book moves quickly; there is something fascinating on every page. This is a difficult book to put down. It's not often that such an academic subject is turned into a book read for pleasure, but Ruether has done so. Despite squirming sometimes just over the thought of the injustices inflicted on Jews, the joy of discovery ran deep, and I couldn't put this book down.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jason Bloomberg on May 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read which was written by a Christian who "gets it" about how Jewish sacred texts and traditions are understood by Jews, AND was able to accept the full validity of such Jewish perspectives and still maintain full fidelity to her Christian faith. I once met a person who said: "A mystic is a person who can transcend another's reality without obliterating their own." It is in this sense I think of Ruether as "a mystic" and on a more personal level, "a healer." The latter being that this book gave me hope that Christians can be faithful without relying on Anti-Judaic polemics or Anti-Semitism, theological or otherwise. It inspired me to believe it is possible to have deeper Interfaith understandings rather mere tolerance and instead look for the building of real respect grounded in mutuality which historically has been absent until relatively recently and sadly still remains far too elusive unless deliberately sought out.

Many others have written books on this topic since. This book is in my opinion is "a MUST READ" for anyone seriously interested in improving relations between Christians and Jews. Without it, too often Christians will erroneously contextualize Jews as either "failed proto-Christians" or have an impression of Judaism only as something fossilized from the past, and Jews will be convinced that understanding Judaism on it's own terms is impossible for any faithful Christian. This book was the seminal work which shatters both sets of misconceptions. It is a bridge to understanding and builds Shalom in its broadest of meanings. Yasher Koach Ms. Ruether. Thank you.
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By Emily Blank on April 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm only partway through the book, but Ruether gives a thought-provoking and informative account of how early Christianity become so hostile to Judaism.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William S. Downer on July 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Although published in 1974 this outstanding, well argued work still needs to be read, digested and discussed by both Jewish and Christian scholars! Underlying this whole book is a sense of suspicion, doubt but intellectual firmness directed at the "source" of anti-Semetic thought; the New Testament. It becomes clear that once the reader has made their way through this fine work the issue is seen to be an intellectual/hermeneutical disagreement in how early sectarian Jews interpreted the OT in regards to Jesus of Nazareth. Such interpretations became the New Testament which therefore for Ruether misinterpreted traditional jewish Messianic longings in the first century. Indeed such writings of these sectarians became "the foundations of anti-Judaic thought... laid in the New Testament" (226) which gave rise to the necessity of affirming the internal Christian's self (94,228). To be more precise this "negative side" and origin of anti-Judaic rhetoric was due to "its christological hermeneutic" (64) she terms (according to the Preface's author Gregory Baum) the "left side of christology" (12). In other words, the Jesus preached by the church through faith in him, but disagreed in by traditional Judaism, now became the "new principle of salvation" (78). Such a stance created a "new people of God" superceeding "the Jewish religious tradition" which now "demanded a whole new garment" (79). The early churches' preaching about Jesus' "salvic role as Prophet-King-Son of Man" (78), due to many Gentiles coming into the church, soon found itself "paradoxically" rejected by Judaism (81).

Paul then, because he took up the task of informing Gentiles that Torah observance now had "no relevance" for them due to an unbelieving Israel, became the "story line" of the Gospels, John and book of Acts (87).
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