Cover image for Catholics and Jews in twentieth-century America
Catholics and Jews in twentieth-century America
Feldman, Egal, 1925-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiii, 323 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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BM535 .F43 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A lively account of the hard path away from mutual suspicion toward reconciliation

Author Notes

Egal Feldman is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin at Superior.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Feldman (history, emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin, Superior) provides an overview of Jewish-Roman Catholic relations beginning in the late 19th century, with references to the medieval era. Comparable to his earlier Dual Destinies: The Jewish Encounter with Protestant America, this volume draws voluminously from books and articles representing wide-ranging views of events and attitudes of the last century. The author contrasts pre- and post-Vatican II matters, noting the development of improved communication and understanding beyond mere accommodation. An occasional factual slip (James Bayley was the bishop of Newark, not New York), the use of sweeping statements (e.g., that the chief source of anti-Semitism remained in "the theological foundations of Christianity and Catholicism in particular"), and the erroneous assertion that "Hitler continued as a church member in good standing and remained so after death" mitigate otherwise evident scholarship. The approach is historical, is at times speculative, and necessarily leaves inner-spiritual journeys unexamined. Yet this book can be recommended with reservations for history and religious collections, especially for its assemblage of materials on issues long in need of healing. Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Feldman (emer., history, Univ. of Wisconsin--Superior) traces the tortuous journey in Catholic thinking from the theology of contempt that held sway through the first half of the 20th century to the era of dialogue that ensued after Vatican II's groundbreaking Declaration on the Jews. More than half the book is devoted to a careful look at Catholic attempts to come to terms with its legacy of antisemitism, its growing awareness of the Holocaust as a fundamental rupture in Christian self-understanding, and the political and theological complexities of Zionism and the state of Israel. Controversies over the convent at Auschwitz, the canonizations of Edith Stein and Pius XII, and Vatican declarations about the Holocaust strained Catholic-Jewish relations at the end of the century. However, Feldman's patient sorting out of the fateful issues that have led to estrangement between the faiths helps readers appreciate the significant progress that has been made since the 1960s. His attention to the persistent efforts and achievements of such scholars as Eugene Fisher, Edward Flannery, Leon Klenicki, and John Pawlikowski provides a helpful complement to James Carroll's more pessimistic analysis of the current situation in Constantine's Sword (2001). All academic levels; general readers. S. Gowler Berea College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introduction: Two Communitiesp. 1
1. Theology of Contemptp. 9
2. Medievalism and Modernity, 1890-1930p. 15
3. Holy Land and Homeland, 1900-1939p. 29
4. Darkening Horizons, 1920-40p. 45
5. Snatching Souls, 1900-1960p. 65
6. Postwar Ambivalence, 1945-60p. 84
7. Revolt of the Bishops, 1960-75p. 103
8. The Age of Dialogue, 1965-2000p. 126
9. Pitfalls of Dialoguep. 138
10. Uprooting Contemptp. 153
11. A New Pastp. 171
12. Remembering the Shoahp. 183
13. Burden and Triumph of Jewish Sovereignty, 1949-99p. 204
Conclusion: Living with the Otherp. 227
Notesp. 243
Selected Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 311