Forsaken or Not? Patristic Argumentation on the Forsakenness of Jews Revisited

Serafim Seppälä 1
  • 1 University of Eastern Finland, University of Eastern Finland, Philosophical faculty, 80101, Joensuu, Finland


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.

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