Judaism and Christianity Page 16...

A signally important work for anyone seriously concerned with Judaism or Christianity. It may prove to be a seminal work, a work that is interesting to both Jews and Christians. No doubt, it has faults, but a lack of nobility is not one of them.

7 A Biographical Introduction one agrees with Baeck on particular points or not, what he here tries to do needs doing so badly. Serious Christians should care to know in what re-spects one of the outstanding Jewish thinkers of our time considered their religion to be open to objections: not just Catholicism or Luther, or some few beliefs or excesses, but the very core of Christianity. Religion tends to become repulsive when it is not under attack, and it is often at its best when it is persecuted. Ger-man Judaism was a case in point; so, specifically, are Baeck’s essays. As Kierkegaard well knew, though his contemporary admirers seem to have forgotten it, Christianity needs less apologetics and more criticism. Serious Christians should therefore welcome Baeck’s Judaism and Christianity. Readers who consider themselves neither Jews nor Christians may find these essays fascinating in two ways. First, they may view them as unusually interest-ing contributions to the history of ideas. Secondly, adopting the perspective suggested here, they may con-centrate on the manner in which so proud and wise a man responded to a hostile world, and particularly to the challenge of Christianity: Baeck’s response differs not only from Heine’s and Kafka’s but also from Rosenzweig’s and Buber’s. And Jewish readers? There is no danger that any of Baeck’s writings will make them complacent: like the prophets, Baeck stresses the central importance of the challenge in Judaism rather more than his contempo-raries. And he himself lived true to this challenge and exemplified what he taught, unlike some of the most outstanding German philosophers and theologians who before 1933 had talked, and after 1945 went right on talking, with a cracked existential pathos— cracked by the rift between life and thought or, as Baeck might   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Judaism and Christianity


About Book Judaism and Christianity

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageA NOTE TO THE READERCONTENTSJUDAISM AND CRISTIANITYLEO BAECK: A Biographical Introduction by Walter Kaufmann1 THE SON OF MAN2 THE GOSPEL AS A DOCUMENT OF THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH FAITHPREFACETRADITIONSTHE EVENTSTHE SAYINGS AND THE PARABLESTHE PARABLES3 THE FAITH OF PAUL4 MYSTERY AND COMMANDMENT5 ROMANTIC RELIGIONROMANTICISMPAULTHE EXPERIENCE OF FAITHCULTURE AND HISTORYTHE SACRAMENTTHE ROMANTIC CHURCHROMANTIC TRUTHTHE COMMANDMENT AND THE DEEDETHICSTHE SENTIMENTALCASUISTRYHUMANITYREDEMPTIONTHE MESSIANIC IDEA
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