One of the smallest and most influential documents of Vatican II is the Nostra aetate
(declaration. The dynamic of the discussions as it was formulated and the subsequent arduous process of and reception application on local church level proved that the reconsideration of the attitude of the Roman-Catholic Church towards Judaism was concealing unforeseen consequences at the moment of the promulgation. Not only that Nostra aetate has been a turning point for the relationships between Catholicism and Judaism, but it has opened and encouraged – of course, along other documents of the council – a whole new perception of one another and of the ecumenical dialogue. The Jewish response to the 50 years Jubilee of Vatican II confirms the ultimately social relevance of the possible collaboration between Christians and Jews in ethical issues. This paper puts at the fore the Nostra aetate as example for the Orthodox Church as well, and draws attention to the many benefits that may follow such responses.
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.