doi: 10.6017/scjr.v1i1.1360

A Holy Land Context for Nostra Aetate

David M. Neuhaus, sj, Jamal Khader

Abstract


This paper will focus on the Catholic Church in Israel’s experience of and reflections on Jewish-Christian dialogue after Nostra Aetate. The dialogue from this perspective is unique for reasons tied to the context of the dialogue. Firstly, of all the countries of the world, only in Israel are Christians a minority in a Jewish majority. Secondly, Catholics and Jews live in a state defined as Jewish. Thirdly, as most Catholics in Israel are Arabs, dialogue with Jews is also dialogue within the context of a national conflict, between Israelis and Palestinians. Religion has come to play an important role in this conflict. Fourthly, many Jews and Christians in Israel do not have their roots in the Western Christian world but rather in the Middle Eastern Muslim world, which cannot be ignored in the dialogue. All these factors make the interpretation and implementation of section 4 of Nostra Aetate and other guidelines on the dialogue particularly interesting. What perspectives on and challenges to the dialogue between Jews and Christians are discernible in the ongoing experience of the Israeli Jewish-Palestinian Christian dialogue today? Two appendices provide the full texts of recent documents from the Catholic Church in the region.

Keywords


Jewish-Christian dialogue; Israel; Palestine; Muslims; Nostra Aetate

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