Precursors to Nostra Aetate

Thieme Karl 1953

Karl Thieme (1953)

In the wake of the Nazi genocide of Jews during the Second World War, some Christian theologians grappled with the question of the relationship of the Christian Church to the Jewish people. Between 1945-1965 they increasingly turned to chapters 9-11 of Paul's Letter to the Romans, reading it in ways that affirmed Jewish life with God. Some significant documents and writings from this period are collected here. Many of their ideas and insights were incorporated into the Second Vatican Council Declaration, Nostra Aetate and similar statements from other Christian communities.

For a detailed study of these pioneering efforts, see John Connelly, From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 (Harvard University Press, 2012).


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# Article Title Date Author
1 An Address to the Churches (The Ten Points of Seelisberg) August 1947 International Council of Christians and Jews
2 On the Jewish Question April 1950 Evangelische Kirsche in Deutschland
3 The Schwalbach Theses: Proposals for Christian Religious Teaching May 1950 German Coordinating Council of Societies for Christian-Jewish Cooperation
4 Theses for Evanston August 1954 Karl Thieme
5 On Avoiding Antisemitism April 1960 Faculty of the Pontifical Biblical Institute
6 Recommendations from the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University June 1960 John Oesterreicher et al.
7 Second International Catholic Study Conference in Apeldoorn on Christian-Jewish Relations September 1960 Willehad Eckert, O.P.
8 John XXIII: "I am Joseph, your brother" October 1960 L'Osservatore Romano
9 The Image of Jews in Catholic Teaching June 1961 Judith Hershcopf
10 Anti-Jewish Elements in Catholic Liturgy November 1961 Eric Werner
11 Resolution on Anti-Semitism November 1961 Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches
12 On Improving Catholic-Jewish Relations May 1962 Abraham Joshua Heschel
13 Address to "the People of the Covenant" January 1964 Pope Paul VI