James Bernauer, S.J.
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte
While much has been written about the Catholic Church and the Holocaust, little has been published about the hostile role of priests, in particular Jesuits, toward Jews and Judaism. Jesuit Kaddish is a long overdue study that examines Jesuit hostility toward Judaism before the Shoah and the development of a new understanding of the Catholic Church’s relation to Judaism that culminated with Vatican II’s landmark decree Nostra aetate. James Bernauer undertakes a self-examination as a member of the Jesuit order and writes this story in the hopes that it will contribute to interreligious reconciliation. Jesuit Kaddish demonstrates the way Jesuit hostility operated, examining Jesuit moral theology’s dualistic approach to sexuality and, in the case of Nazi Germany, the articulation of an unholy alliance between a sexualizing and a Judaizing of German culture. Bernauer then identifies an influential group of Jesuits whose thought and action contributed to the developments in Catholic teaching about Judaism that eventually led to the watershed moment of Nostra aetate. This book concludes with a proposed statement of repentance from the Jesuits and an appendix presenting the fifteen Jesuits who have been honored as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Center. Jesuit Kaddish offers a crucial contribution to the fields of Catholicism and Nazism, Catholic-Jewish relations, Jesuit history, and the history of anti-Semitism in Europe.
Nazism, Catholic Church and Jews, persecution, Jesuit, repentance, anti-Semitism, Catholic-Jewish relations, Judaism, racism, Holocaust, Vatican II