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Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification Paperback – April 2, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0195072730 ISBN-10: 0195072731

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 2, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195072731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195072730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,548,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Some Jewish traditionalists are opposed to a dialogue between Jews and Christians; it is to these Jews especially that Novak directs this philosophical justification for seeking a common ground between the two faiths. Yet general readers, whatever their religion, will find many strands of the argument of considerable interest. A rabbi and a professor at City University of New York, Novak surveys the theological wrangling between Jews and gentiles through the centuries. He ponders Jews' attempts to reconstruct a Jewish Jesus, assesses the threat that modern secularism poses to both faiths, and updates Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides and German translator Franz Rosenweig, one of the first 20th-century Jews to embark on a sustained dialogue with Christians. Delving deeply into scriptural, rabbinical and secular philosophical sources, Novak promotes mutual tolerance and understanding between the two faiths with the goal of helping each to fulfill its separate destiny and redemptive vision.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"One of the finest books available on the subject. Novak is very sensitive in his understanding of 'where Christians are' in relation to Judaism, and he makes many positive suggestions for the advancement of the dialogue."--James Breckenridge, Baylor University

"This is a book from which both Jews and Christians will learn as much about their own traditions as about the other's. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and public libraries. Destined to become a classic in this sensitive and most timely area."--Choice

"A carefully worked out and clearly written argument for Jewish involvement in the Jewish-Christian conversation....It should be of as much interest to Christians as to Jews, in discussing the future of the dialogue of these faith communities in the emerging post-modern, post-Christian world."--Missiology

"Novak's blend of careful historical criticism with rigorous theological argument makes this an extremely important addition to a field too often characterized by apologetics and inter-communal politics. Essential reading for everyone interested in the theological dimensions of Jewish and Christian dialogue."--Religious Studies Review

"An impressive book and an important sign of how theologically serious and significant the dialogue has become."--The Christian Century

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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Rodin MD on December 10, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Novak's book is an attempt to bridge the gap between the Jewish and Christian religion from a Jewish point of view. The fact that he called it a Jewish Justification in the subtitle is telling because it implies that such a dialogue is not looked upon with favor by his co-religionists. The discussions range from the Noahide laws, of which Christians unless they are Mormons or theologians, tend to be unaware of, through medieval views including those of Maimonedes to modernity. Novak also devotes a chapter of what he calls "The Quest for the Jewish Jesus," which attempts to find common ground where none can exist in orthodox Judaism.
It is furthermore of interest that the only real dialogue the author presents is that between two friends Rosenzweig and Rosenstock both of whom were born into the Jewish religion but Rosenstock had converted to Christianity. The fact that their correspondence took place during World War I and was published in the nineteenthirties reduces its relevance for today.
In "A New Theology of Jewish-Christian Dialogue" Novak emphasizes the primacy of listening to God's voice. "Scripture is concerned with removing the thought that God can be seen, but encourages the thought that God can be heard." Unfortunately in human life those who actually hear, rather than think about, God's voice tend to be in the vast majority mentally unbalanced. Hearing voices is a rather reliable hallmark of mental illness. This is not to deny that a few individuals throughout history have had this genuine religious experience but it cannot be expected from the majority.
The book represents the author's personal philosophy and as an individual steeped in the physical sciences I found it somewhat difficult to read.
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