Reluctant Witnesses: Jews and the Christian Imagination

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Westminster John Knox Press, 1995 - Religion - 221 pages
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Stephen Haynes takes a hard look at contemporary Christian theology as he explores the pervasive Christian "witness-people" myth that dominates much Christian thinking about the Jews in both Christian and Jewish minds. This myth, an ancient theological construct that has put Jews in the role of living symbols of God's dealings with the world, has for centuries, according to Haynes, created an ambivalence toward the Jews in the Christian mind with often disastrous results.
Tracing the witness-people myth from its origins to its manifestations in the modern world, Haynes finds the myth expressed in many unexpected places: the writings of Karl Barth, the novels and essays of Walker Percy, the "prophetic" writings of Hal Lindsey, as well as in the work of some North American Holocaust theologians such as Alice L. and A. Roy Eckardt, Paul van Buren, and Franklin Littell.
 

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Contents

The WitnessPeople Myth and Its Alternatives
12
The WitnessPeople Myth in History
25
Karl Barth the German Church Struggle and
64
Signposts
90
Christian Holocaust Theology and the WitnessPeople
120
Conclusions
171
Notes
185
Bibliography
214
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About the author (1995)

Stephen R. Haynes is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee.

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