Fortress Press

The God of Israel and Christian Theology

The God of Israel and Christian Theology

R. Kendall Soulen (Author)


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With acknowledgment that Christian theology contributed to the persecution and genocide of Jews comes a dilemma: how to excise the cancer without killing the patient? Kendall Soulen shows how important Christian assertions—the uniqueness of Jesus, the Christian covenant, the finality of salvation in Christ—have been formulated in destructive, supersessionist ways not only in the classical period (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus) and early modernity (Kant and Schleiermacher) but even contemporary theology (Barth and Rahner). Along with this first full-scale critique of Christian supersessionism, Soulen's own constructive proposal regraps the narrative unity of Christian identity and the canon through an original and important insight into the divine-human covenant, the election of Israel, and the meaning of history.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800628833
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 208
  • Publication Date June 11, 1996


"This is the most promising proposal to date for overcoming Christian doctrinal supersessionism while maintaining the continuing theological importance of Judaism for Christianity and not sacrificing the christological claims historically considered essential to Christian identity."
— George Lindbeck, Yale Divinity School

"A penetrating proposal for a Christianity that does more than pay lip service to its loyalty to the God of Israel...Soulen shapes a Christian theology not embarrassed by the Hebrew Bible and the continuing existence of the Jewish people. It is a major contribution toward a Christianity without anti-Judaism."
— Michael Wyschogrod, author of The Body of Faith

Table of Contents


  1. The God of Israel after Christendom
    Supersessionism as a problem for systematic theology
    Supersessionism and dialogue
    Supersessionism and the church's standard canonical narrative
    Supersessionism and the flight from history
    A road map


  2. A Flaw in the Heart of the Crystal: Justin and Irenaeus
    The standard canonical narrative
    Problematic aspects
    The origins of the standard canonical narrative
    Justin Martyr: a framework for the Scriptures of Israel
    The legacy of the standard model

  3. Christian Divinity without Jewish Flesh: Kant and Schleiermacher
    Immanuel Kant's Religion
    Friedrich Schleiermacher's The Christian Faith
    Disembodied God

  4. Consummation at the End of Christendom: Barth and Rahner
    Barth and Rahner on Schleiermacher
    Barth on consummation
    Rahner on consummation
    Covenant history at an impasse


  5. The Blessing of an Other: A Proposal

  6. The Scriptures: The Economy of Consummation
    Blessing and creation
    Blessing and covenant
    Blessing and eschatology
    Systematic reflections

  7. The Scriptures: Curse and Redemption
    Curse and the economy of consummation
    Redemption and the economy of consummation
    Systematic reflections

  8. The Apostolic Witness: God's Reign and the Name of Jesus Christ
    The gospel
    The shape of discipleship
    The church amid Jews and Gentiles
    Final consummation