This article discusses the role of Byzantine liturgical hymnography within the Jewish-Orthodox Christian dialogue. It seems that problematic anti-Jewish hymns of the Orthodox liturgy were often put forward by the Jewish side, but Orthodox theologians couldn’t offer a satisfactory answer, so that the dialogue itself profoundly suffered. The author of this study argues that liturgical hymnography cannot be a stumbling stone for the dialogue. Bringing new witnesses from several Orthodox theologians, the author underlines the need for a change of perspective. Then, beyond the intrinsic plea for the revision of the anti-Jewish texts, this article actually emphasizes the need to rediscover the Jewishness of the Byzantine liturgy and to approach the hymnography as an exegesis or even Midrash on the biblical texts and motives. As such, the anti-Jewish elements of the liturgy can be considered an impulse to a deeper analysis of Byzantine hymnography, which could be very fruitful for the Jewish-Christian Dialogue.
The modern problem of political correctness appeared recently in the Romanian Orthodox Church too and produced different reactions. In this paper I want to discuss the anti-Judaic language that can be encountered in the cult, particularly during the Holy Week, and the solutions to treat these expressions. In the Catholic and Protestant world, the anti-Judaic speech was abandoned,1 so it seems that only the Orthodox churches have kept the texts that might be deemed as offensive for the Jewish people. As we shall observe, the Romanian Orthodox Church offers an interesting case on this issue. Beside the liturgical texts, I will also approach the problem of the accommodation of the biblical texts in the Orthodox Church, since some modern translations have pushed the modification so far.
After the Shoah, the Catholic-Jewish dialogue has reached considerable intellectual depth, existential honesty, theological advancement and thematic width. The Orthodox Church, however, has hardly started its process of reconciliation. At the heart of the problem is the patristic argumentation on the forsakenness of the Jews, which in the Early Church was organically connected with the truth of Christianity. The patristic authors, however, were largely ignorant of the theological developments of Rabbinic Judaism and thus based their reasoning on mistaken presuppositions. In our times, this is especially clear with the patristic argument that it is perpetually impossible for the Jews to return to rule their Holy Land and Jerusalem.
Concentrating on the Orthodox theology of biblical Israel within the context of fulfillment theology, the argument is that the early Church envisioned itself as the continuation of Israel of the Jewish Bible rather than its replacement. In the author’s view, the current understanding of the distinction between replacement and fulfillment theology, the early Christian theological conception of the Church as Israel, and the ways in which both contemporaneous pagans and Jews viewed the nascent Christian faith support this assertion.
Chapter 4 of the Declaration Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council marks a decisive turn of the relations between Catholics and Jews. Numerous books and articles have tried to discuss the application of this declaration 50 years after its proclamation by Pope Paul VI. on October 28, 1965, to take stock. Nostra Aetate has also been recorded by Orthodox theologians, as some articles attest. After skimming the initiated implementation of this chapter through the ensuing Jewish-Catholic dialogue, we will introduce the Jewish Orthodox. We will distinguish the Judeo-Christian dialogue at the universal level and at the local level. For the Jewish-Catholic dialogue at the local level, we will examine the situation in France and for the Jewish-Orthodox dialogue the situation in Romania. In view of the connection between theology and history, we will mention not only the texts related to this dialogue, but also some events that have favored or slowed it down.
The present article deals with the question of Jewish and Christian-Orthodox dialogue. The author focuses on the ambivalences regarding the relation to Jewish heritage in the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church: on the one hand, an un-reflected anti-Judaism of the old byzantine texts (especially in the “Holy and Great Week”), on the other hand a distinctive, hagiographical appreciation of the personalities of the Old Testament. The main challenge remains the development in the Orthodox collective mentality of a new sensibility (in sense of a metanoia) regarding this matter.