Emil L. Fackenheim

by roadsideservice

“…trauma paralysed Jewish theology for decades. In fairness, it must be recognised that a trauma paralysed Christian theology as well. But what trauma? Perhaps the following: the Nuremberg Laws robbed Jews of choice. To “Aryans,” in contrast, they gave a choice, one of the like of which had never existed before: they could accept the “Aryan” designation or reject it. Had the churches of Germany – even of the world – greeted the Nuremberg Laws with the “Onward, Christian Soldiers” battle cry “Now we are Jews!” – that is, with the most radical possible rejection – the Third Reich would have collapsed, and the Christian faith would now be more firm, more respected, more universal than ever before. But the Christian churches did not recognize the time of their visitation, a unique kairos in their history. And in accepting, even silently tolerating, their own designation as “Aryans,” Christians, even if meaning no such thing, abandoned the “non-Aryans” to their fate. One is appalled by the insidiousness of this Nazi attack on Christianity, perhaps the deepest of the many and saddened by the akiros that was missed. How can post-Holocaust Christians relate to this trauma?” (1994, Xliv)

Fackenheim, E (1994) To mend the world : foundations of post-Holocaust Jewish thought, Bloomington, Indiana Univ. Press