Edited by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion
Where was God when six million died? Over the last few decades this question has haunted both Jewish and Christian theologians. If God is all-good and all-powerful, how could he have permitted the Holocaust to take place?
Holocaust Theology: A Reader provides a panoramic survey of the responses of over one hundred leading Jewish and Christian Holocaust thinkers. Beginning with the religious challenge of the Holocaust, the collection explores a wide range of thinking which seek to reconcile God's ways with the existence of evil. In addition, the book addresses perplexing questions regarding Christian responsibility and culpability during the Nazi era. Designed for general readers and students, the readings are arranged thematically and each one is divided into separate topics. For anyone who is troubled by the religious implications of the tragedy of the Holocaust, this collection of Holocaust theology provides a basis for discussion and debate: each reading is followed by several questions designed to stimulate this.
Contents: Part 1 The challenge: the religious challenge of the Holocaust. Part 2 Faith in the death camps: religious faith; the Holocaust and divine providence; the Holocaust and mystery; faithfulness and suffering. Part 3 Wrestling with the Holocaust: the suffering of God; human free will; the Holocaust and Christian faith; the Holocaust and the kingdom; the Holocaust and covenant; the Holocaust and human evil; the Holocaust and Jewish survival; reconstructing Judaism. Part 4 Jews, Christians and the Holocaust: the Holocaust and Christian responsibility; re-evaluating Christian theology; Jewish-Christian dialogue. Epilogue - the future of Holocaust theology.
"A splendid book, then. ‘Enjoyable’ is not the right word in this subject area: but I was moved, provoked and challenged by what I read. I have underlined good things on every page. The publisher’s blurb is surely right: this will become the classic reader for many years to come."
(Peter Chave, Common Ground)
"I am sure this will be the definitive reader in this area for some years to come. It is a remarkable achievement."
(Professor Ian Markham, Liverpool Hope University College)
"There is here a rich and diverse collection of views and arguments, and readers will find this a stimulating source of ideas."
(Professor Oliver Leaman, University of Kentucky, author of Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy)
"This work will be of immense value to students from a broad educational background and also easily accessible to a general readership."
(Dr Helen P. Fry, Honorary Research Fellow, University College London, editor of Christian-Jewish Dialogue: A Reader (UEP, 1996))
"Cohn-Sherbok has succeeded in his aim, providing a wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection which is accessible to all. Although the readings are comparatively short they act as signposts to the works of a wide spectrum of theologians and other thinkers, encouraging debate and reflection."
(Bulletin of the Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries)
"A significant contribution to reflection on the Holocaust."
(World Faiths Encounter, No. 32, July 2002)
"Cohn-Sherbok has produced an excellent 21st-century companion text to Albert Friedlander's Out of the Whirlwind anthology, which will serve all Jews and Christians who seek to learn from the Shoah and strive together to avoid its repetition."
"A useful tool for study, debate and interfaith dialogue."
"I admit that I like the format of a reader – it's easy to dip into – and I particularly like this one with its detailed introduction and helpful epilogue embracing four well-organised sections with more than 100 short contributions on every conceivable aspect of Holocaust reflection, each with their own discussion questions . . . This is a commendable, wide-ranging book which is easily accessible to people new to the subject."
Dan Cohn-Sherbok is Professor of Judaism at the University of Wales and Visiting Professor of Interfaith Dialogue at Middlesex University. He is the author and editor of over 60 books, including The Crucified Jew, Understanding the Holocaust, The Atlas of Jewish History, Messianic Judaism.
Holocaust Theology - A Reader - Hardback cover