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Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life Paperback – 1 Feb 1994
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About the Author
Marc H. Ellis isDirector of the Center for Jewish Studies and Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Along the way he ties Auschwitz with 1492 and the multiple genocides of indigenous peoples since. Reflects on the essential continuity between the "Christ of Faith" and the Constantinian transformation. Attempts to reclaim, insight from the cultural/binational Zionism of Ahad Ha'am, Judah L. Magnes, and Hannah Arendt. Tries to visualize an all inclusive vision of Judaism.
Ellis ranges widely, especially considering that the book is only 162 pages long. Needless to say there are omissions and missteps. While focusing on Auschwitz and 1492, Ellis neglects the Crusades as another catastrophic turning point of western history. Not only does the subject bring in Muslim greivance toward Christianity, but the event marked a new outbreak in anti-Semitism that characterized the second millenium, as well as greatly heightened persecution of homosexuals, heretics and "witches." In short, an event at least as great as Constantine.
The connection he draws between "the Christ of Faith" and Constantine is just asserted. True, "reformers" are too glib in trying to separate the Church from "abuses." But Ellis, fails to lay out his version of how a group persecuted by empire, became part of the empire and why it was an inevitable development. As for asserting that 1492 "benefitted" the Church. Is this true? Much of the current growth in Asia and Africa is quite indigenous and pentecostalism is the big phenomenon in Latin America.
In critiquing the "Christ of Faith" he falls back on Crossan's THE HISTORICAL JESUS as though Crossan presents the last word on "the Jesus of History" (as though such a thing were possible). He seems unaware that his reconstruction of "Jesus as a peasant cynic" is widely disputed. Reconstructions are ever subject to revision and in the end as Schweizer showed, seem to tell more about the author than the subject. As for his all inclusive view of Judaism, he tries to affirm the pagan practices by Ancient Israelites condemned by the "establishment" prophets. Strange that the "establishment" prophets were often the subject of persecution (e.g. jeremiah and isaiah). While the "popular" pagan practices seem to follow courtly fashion.
Most troubling is that for a "theology" there is almost nothing said concerning God. (In BEYOND INNOCENCE AND REDEMPTION absolutely nothing is said.) But Ellis's journey is far from over. In just the last few weeks, Ellis has delivered a lecture on "the Prophetic: Hope of God, Hope of Humanity" that embraces and declares the need for "God Talk."
With his mentor Rubenstein I too "find everything Marc Ellis writes to be a 'must read'...especially when I disagree with him."
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