Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust

Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust

Edited by Kevin P Spicer
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/31/2007
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-34873-9
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In recent years, the mask of tolerant, secular, multicultural Europe has been shattered by new forms of antisemitic crime. Though many of the perpetrators do not profess Christianity, antisemitism has flourished in Christian Europe. In this book, thirteen scholars of European history, Jewish studies, and Christian theology examine antisemitism’s insidious role in Europe’s intellectual and political life. The essays reveal that annihilative antisemitic thought was not limited to Germany, but could be found in the theology and liturgical practice of most of Europe’s Christian churches. They dismantle the claim of a distinction between Christian anti-Judaism and neo-pagan antisemitism and show that, at the heart of Christianity, hatred for Jews overwhelmingly formed the milieu of 20th-century Europe.

Author Bio

Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C., is Associate Professor of History at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. He is author of Resisting the Third Reich: The Catholic Clergy in Hitler’s Berlin.


“In this book, 13 scholars of European history, Jewish studies, and Christian theology examine antisemitism's insidious role in Europe's intellectual and political life.”

“. . . Spicer’s anthology convinces by its breadth and depth and is indispensable for all scholars in the field.3. 2008”
 — Katharina von Kellenbach, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

“. . . sheds light on and offers steps to overcome the locked-in conflict between Jews and Christians along the antisemitic path from Calvary to Auschwitz and beyond.Vol. 27, No. 1 Fall 2008”
 — Zev Garber, Los Angeles Valley College and American Jewish University

“. . . a well packed collection of twelve articles on the ambivalence of the Christian Church toward the Holocaust and antisemitism. The collection is introduced by Kevin P. Spicer and Father John T. Pawlikowski, both well-known authors on the subject. Each article is followed with extensive endnotes, and the editorial work, by both Spicer and the publisher, is superb. The flow of thought is easy to follow.Vol 50, 3 Summer 2008”

“[An] excellent collection . . . .Vol. 94, 4 October 2008”
 — EUGENE J. FISHER, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (Associate Director Emeritus) United States Co

“This volume's inclusion of essays on several different Christian traditions, as well as the Jewish perspective on Christian antisemitism make it especially valuable for understanding varieties of Christian antisemitism and ultimately, the practice and consequences of exclusionary thinking in general. In bringing a range of theological and historical perspectives to bear on the question of Christian and Nazi antisemitism, the book broadens our view on the question, and is of great value to historians and theologians alike.January 2009”
 — Maria Mazzenga, Catholic University of America

“[This] book displays the sort of thematic and methodological diversity one might expect from a project designed to foster dialogue across disciplinary lines by historians and theologians.23.1 Winter 2009”

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Love Thy Neighbor?

Part 1. Theological Antisemitism
1. Belated Heroism: The Danish Lutheran Church and the Jews, 1918<N>1945
2. Rabbinic Judaism in the Writings of Polish Catholic Theologians, 1918<N>1939
3. German Catholic Views of Jesus and Judaism, 1918<N>1945
4. Catholic Theology and the Challenge of Nazism

Part 2. Christian Clergy and the Extreme Right Wing
5. Working for the Führer: Father Dr. Philipp Haeuser and the Third Reich
6. The Impact of the Spanish Civil War upon Roman Catholic Clergy in Nazi Germany
7. Faith, Murder, Resurrection: The Iron Guard and the Romanian Orthodox Church

Part 3. Postwar Jewish-Christian Encounters
8. The German Protestant Church and Its Judenmission, 1945<N>1950
9. Shock, Renewal, Crisis: Catholic Reflections on the Shoah

Part 4. Viewing Each Other
10. Wartime Jewish Orthodoxy's Encounter with Holocaust Christianity
11. Confronting Antisemitism: Rabbi Philip Sidney Bernstein and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy
12. Old Wine in New Bottles? Religion and Race in Nazi Antisemitism

List of Contributors