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From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 Hardcover


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From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 + History of the World Christian Movement, Vol. 2: Modern Christianity from 1454-1800 + History of the World Christian Movement: Earliest Christianity to 1453
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; First edition. edition (April 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674057821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674057821
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A brilliantly original and an extremely important reconstruction of what motivated the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s to declare a new and positive appreciation of Jews and Judaism. (Susannah Heschel, author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany)

From Enemy to Brother is an astonishing achievement, one of the most significant books written on the history of twentieth-century Catholicism. (John T. McGreevy, University of Notre Dame)

An excellent resource for those studying the Holocaust, racism more generally, and the developments leading up to Vatican II's statement on Christianity's relation to the Jewish People. (John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Catholic Theological Union)

This path-breaking book, based on extensive documentation, will be essential reading for all those interested in Christian-Jewish relations and the history of antisemitism. (Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

The extraordinary story told by Connelly reveals not only that Catholic magisterium is able to change its mind, but also that a doctrinal renewal of this kind may well begin as a small movement in the Church, frowned upon by the hierarchy, that gradually finds acceptance among Catholic and their theologians to be finally affirmed by the highest authority. In the present winter of the Catholic Church it is good to be reminded of the innovative power of Spirit-guided movements within Catholicism. (Gregory Baum The Ecumenist 2012-06-01)

[A] remarkable new book...It is one of the central lessons of Connelly's book that the bonds of empathy that made Nostra Aetate a historical possibility are far more fragile, and less expansive, than one might care to imagine. The detailed history of its genesis reveals a singular fact: most of the architects of the Catholic statement concerning the Jews in 1965 were themselves, either by descent or practice or public definition, Jews who had converted to Christianity...Connelly has written an important book, an extraordinary work of history. (Peter E. Gordon New Republic 2012-06-07)

Remarkable...Connelly...has mastered a vast and obscure literature, much of it hitherto unpublished and most of it in German, in order to establish the contours of what he aptly characterizes as a "revolution" in mid-20th-century Catholic thought...Connelly's book...hugely enriches its historical context. He shows that there were Catholics who held the Church to account while the Holocaust was taking place, demanded that it abandon the teaching of contempt, and eventually persuaded their coreligionists to adopt a new understanding of the Jewish role in history. Catholics and Jews alike should welcome such a scholarly reappraisal of the most painful chapter in the history of their relationship. (Daniel Johnson Jewish Ideas Daily 2012-06-18)

Excellent...Connelly's book is important because for the first time we have a comprehensive tale of the genesis of a new teaching. This is a book about workers in the vineyard who have largely been overlooked or bypassed in church history. But it is to these workers, who rose before dawn, that the church owes profound, if belated, respect. (Charles R. Gallagher America 2012-10-08)

Catholic theologians owe a debt of gratitude to John Connelly for retracing a painful but fruitful period of theological reflection. Anyone who draws close to Dietrich von Hildebrand, Karl Thieme, and Johannes Oesterreicher will be given fresh eyes for the sources of theology and a reverence for the mystery of Israel. (Nicholas J. Healy Jr. First Things 2013-01-01)

Connelly's book...is invaluable for its close tracking of the development of the Pauline argument for the continuing validity of the Jewish Covenant...This, as it stands, is a good book, and an important one. (Garry Wills New York Review of Books 2013-03-21)

About the Author

John Connelly is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. Patrick Killough VINE VOICE on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How astonishingly good a read is John Connelly's 2012 FROM ENEMY TO BROTHER: THE REVOLUTION IN CATHOLIC TEACHING ON THE JEWS 1933 - 1965!

The book's title includes two dates: 1933 and 1965.

-- In January 1933 Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany and quickly drew upon centuries of ingrained European feelings about Jews ranging from superiority to hatred.

-- In December 1965 Pope Paul VI closed the three year old Second Vatican Council. Its "Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions NOSTRA AETATE ("In our times") included a brief Chapter Four on the Jews described as "Abraham's Stock." In a few Latin sentences, the Council fathers reversed and intended to end definitively centuries of anti-Jewish preaching by the Roman Catholic Church.

From the days of the New Testament, the earliest followers of Jesus of Nazareth wrestled with such questions as: must a pagan become a Jew before becoming a Christian? Initially, that was a decision only leading Jewish Christians could make. And in the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES we see Christian Jews gathered in Jerusalem laying down conditions allowing pagans to be baptized and enter into fellowship with Jews who followed Jesus. Thus it was rules laid down by Jews that made it possible for Greeks and other heathen to follow Jesus as brothers. Only Jews, initially, had such power in the Church.

According to Professor John Connelly, John the Evangelist, long before he died, stopped considering himself a Jew. By contrast, Paul of Tarsus never ceased being and feeling himself to be Jewish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Curedents on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No one who wants to understand better the genesis of Nostra Aetate at Vatican II should pass by this book. I have seen other reviews here allege that it is "too scholarly" or that there are "too many names" mentioned in it, but the average reader who gives it attention will have no problems with it. There is some repetition, especially in the later chapters (these seem less well-written than those at the beginning), but that fact may actually help readers unfamiliar with the names of the priests, bishops, and lay theologians involved. I do have one minor criticism of the book, again related specifically to the later chapters. For whatever reason, Connelly repeatedly misuses the words ''fortuitous'' and ''disinterested'', writing the former where he means ''fortunate'' and the latter where he means ''uninterested''. His English is good enough otherwise to make one wonder why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philip Miller on August 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Originally in the Journal, Seat of Wisdom, Issue 7 (Summer 2013): 59-61.

It is received wisdom that the wheels that run the Catholic Church grind
slowly, extremely slowly. In the case of a sea-going vessel, it takes tremendous
effort to change the course of a large ship, for it needs to be done at a slow rate and not in haste, lest the vessel capsize. John Connelly, who is an associate
professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, has in his book
From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965
presented in exquisite (some might say exhausting) detail how the otherwise slow-moving Church was able to recast its position towards the Jews in a remarkably short period of time, while at that same time it sought to redefine
herself during the Second Vatican Council. One of prominent successes of the
Second Vatican Council was the promulgation of Nostra Aetate in 1965.

Speaking in 2006, fifty years after the Declaration, Father Thomas Stransky, C.S.P., one of those who drafted Nostra Aetate as an advisor at Vatican II, said the Declaration signaled "a 180 degree turnabout" for the Church. Connelly, referencing Edward H. Flannery's best-seller, The Anguish of the Jews (1965), said that Nostra Aetate had revised "... all that the church had taught about Jews since its early days, a time when teachings about Christ's divinity or the Trinity had yet to be formulated. From the third century at the latest, church authorities taught that the Jews' destiny was to wander the earth suffering retribution from God for rejecting Christ, seeing in their destitution as the most direct evidence that the church's claims to God's favor were correct.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
immensely important topic in understanding the transformation in the relationship of Catholic church to Judaism. John Connelly should be commended on his thorough research in telling us about a few brave ,dedicated Christians who understood the importance of the Church interpretation of apostolic teachings. A fresh look at the ancient St. Paul letters open a window to allow theologians to argue in favor of Paul favorable view on the Jews. Second Vatican Council transformed the Catholic church and now we understand why!
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9 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Shelly B on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is too minutely detailed, with a multitude of names which makes it near impossible to tell who's who, who the good guys and the bad are. It's too scholarly for the casual reader It also glosses over some of the un-admirable behavior of many important figures in the Catholic Church. I think it presents too rosy a view - while Vatican II includes noble intent on the part of the Church, the actual change in attitude within the Church hierarchy leaves much to be desired.
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