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Healing the Schism: Karl Barth, Franz Rosenzweig, and the New Jewish-Christian Encounter

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The past and future of Jewish-Christian dialogue

The history of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity is storied and tragic. However, recent decades show promise as both parties reflect on their self-definitions and mutual contingency and consider possible ways forward.

In Healing the Schism, Jennifer M. Rosner maps the new Jewish-Christian encounter from its origins in the early twentieth-century pioneers to its current representatives. Rosner first traces the thought of Karl Barth and Franz Rosenzweig and brings them into conversation. Rosner then outlines the reassessments and developments of post-Holocaust theological architects that moved the dialogue forward and set the stage for today. She considers the recent work of Messianic Jewish theologian Mark S. Kinzer and concludes by envisioning future possibilities.

With clarity and rigor, Rosner offers a robust perspective of Judaism and Christianity that is post-supersessionist and theologically orthodox. Healing the Schism is essential reading for understanding the perils and promise of Messianic Jewish identity and Jewish-Christian theological conversation.

Praise for Healing the Schism

Remember the famous exchange between Karl Barth and Franz Rosenzweig on the significance of Judaism for Christian faith, and of Christianity for Jewish faith? Of course not, because that is one of those great theological conversations that never happened — at least until now. In this exciting book, Jennifer M. Rosner orchestrates a meeting of minds between Barth and Rosenzweig, and she does so with reference to a phenomenon both thinkers foreshadow but neither foresaw: the emergence of theologically articulate Messianic Judaism. A creative and deeply probing work.

–R. Kendall Soulen, Emory University

How do Jews and Christians understand each other in the wake of the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the rise of Messianic Judaism? What is the relation of Jewish practice to Christian claims that the Jewish messiah has come? No theologian can answer these questions without careful attention to Barth, Rosenzweig, Kinzer and — now — Jennifer M. Rosner.

–Gerald R. McDermott, Beeson Divinity School

This is the finest piece of theological work yet to emerge from the Messianic Jewish movement. Reflecting on the relationship between the Jewish people and the church in critical dialogue with Barth, Rosenzweig, Kinzer, and many others, Rosner addresses in a nuanced and sensitive way questions that go to the heart of both Jewish and Christian faith. More than that: she advances to a new level of clarity and rigor the difficult but needed theological conversation on the problems and promise of Messianic Judaism.

–Bruce D. Marshall, Southern Methodist University

Top Highlights

“Fundamentally, Barth’s thought coheres well with a rabbinic worldview. However, Barth’s conception of rabbinic Judaism does not permit him to recognize its high level of convergence with his own framework.” (Page 87)

“While Barth safeguards the Jewishness of Jesus as an essential feature of his Christology, he fails to reckon with the practical implications of this claim.” (Page 78)

“By virtue of God taking on Jewish flesh in the person of Jesus, ‘God’s ownership of this Jewish flesh is permanent.” (Page 6)

“is to be in a state of perishing before this God.’154 Israel embodies fallen fleshly existence par excellence.” (Page 71)

“Christianity’s being and mission is anchored within Judaism precludes any sort of theological dismissal” (Page 143)

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology

Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Introduction: The Election of Israel and Christian Theology
  • “Salvation is of the Jews”: Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Israel and the Church
  • “The Sprouting of Our Redemption”: Franz Rosenzweig’s Theology of Judaism and Christianity
  • “Torah Shall Go Forth From Zion”: Reconceiving Christology and Ecclesiology in Light of Israel
  • Hastening Toward the “Day that is Entirely Shabbat”: Mark Kinzer’s Messianic Jewish Theology
  • Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Title: Healing the Schism: Karl Barth, Franz Rosenzweig, and the New Jewish-Christian Encounter
  • Author: Jennifer M. Rosner
  • Series: Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 288
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683594932

Jennifer M. Rosner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is affiliate assistant professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. She edited a collection of Mark S. Kinzer’s essays, Israel’s Messiah and the People of God.


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Print list price: $34.99
Save $5.00 (14%)