Abra­ham’s Promise: Judaism and Jew­ish-Chris­t­ian Relations

Michael Wyschogrod
  • Review
By – September 24, 2012

This vol­ume brings togeth­er a col­lec­tion of 13 pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished and five new essays by the Jew­ish philoso­pher Michael Wyschogrod. It also includes a bio­graph­i­cal sketch and help­ful intro­duc­tion to his work, writ­ten by R. Kendall Soulen, who edit­ed the col­lec­tion. Wyschogrod rep­re­sents an impor­tant voice in Jewish/​Chris­t­ian dia­logue and inter-rela­tions, and has for sev­er­al decades. Unlike his esteemed teacher Joseph Soleveitchik, who eschewed inter-reli­gious dia­logue on mat­ters of faith, per­mit­ting them only on sec­u­lar mat­ters, Wyschogrod chal­lenged the dis­tinc­tion between the sec­u­lar and sacred upon which that pol­i­cy depend­ed, because it under­mined the propo­si­tion that all Jew­ish val­ues are ulti­mate­ly root­ed in rev­e­la­tion.” In addi­tion to con­tribut­ing to the dia­logue in a vari­ety of ways, which these essays demon­strate, Wyschogrod has been deeply involved in help­ing Chris­t­ian insti­tu­tions rethink their views of and rela­tion­ships with Jews and Judaism since Vat­i­can II

R. Kendall Soulen char­ac­ter­izes the thought of Wyschogrod in these essays in the fol­low­ing use­ful way: What­ev­er the top­ic at hand, Wyschogrod’s thought orbits a sin­gle cen­ter of grav­i­ty: God’s free yet irrev­o­ca­ble love for the peo­ple Israel, and in con­nec­tion with Israel, for the world as a whole. Wyschogrod fre­quent­ly ori­ents the read­er on this real­i­ty with a decep­tive­ly sim­ple affir­ma­tion, and then traces its con­se­quences in a way that com­bines intel­lec­tu­al rig­or with orig­i­nal­i­ty and an eager­ness to address hard and uncom­fort­able questions.” 

A must – read for those inter­est­ed in sig­nif­i­cant works that promise to advance Jewish/​Chris­t­ian rela­tions. Index and list of Wyschogrod’s publications.

Mark D. Nanos, Ph.D., Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas, is the author of Mys­tery­of Romans, win­ner of the 1996 Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, Charles H. Revson­Award in Jew­ish-Chris­t­ian Relations.

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