With acknowledgment that Christian theology contributed to the persecution and genocide of Jews comes a dilemma: how to excise the cancer without killing the patient? Kendall Soulen shows how important Christian assertions---the uniqueness of Jesus, the Christian covenant, the finality of salvation in Christ---have been formulated in destructive, supersessionist ways not only in the classical period (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus) and early modernity (Kant and Schleiermacher) but even contemporary theology (Barth and Rahner). Along with this first full-scale critique of Christian supersessionism, Soulen's own constructive proposal regraps the narrative unity of Christian identity and the canon through an original and important insight into the divine-human covenant, the election of Israel, and the meaning of history.
"This is the most promising proposal to date for overcoming Christian doctrinal supersessionism while maintaining the continuing theological importance of Judaism for Christianity and not sacrificing the christological claims historically considered essential to Christian identity."
-George Lindbeck, Yale Divinity School
R. Kendall Soulen is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
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