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This book begins with Marc Ellis's own journey to Auschwitz in 1992 and reflects back on his past, which includes his childhood experience as a Jew and his university years studying under Holocaust theologian Richard Rubenstein. Marc Ellis has taught and traveled among third-world peoples and has been outspoken on Middle Eastern issues. Based on this experience, Ellis has come to see that both Judaism and Christianity are locked in a static position. He shows that there is a continuity between the era of Christendom, exemplified by 1492, and Auschwitz and provides evidence to show that they are intimately linked. He sees the possibility of Jews and third-world Christians joining in a solidarity characterized by suffering and hope. He advocates what he calls "the ultimate religious act of contemporary Judaism and Christianity" to end Auschwitz and 1492 and to begin anew to create a world where all people can claim their own freedom and history.
In this book, Marc Ellis wrestles with some of the critical issues of contemporary Jewish and Christian life, in particular the issues of Jewish and Christian religiosity after Auschwitz and 1492, two events that are historical and contemporary in their relevance. Both mark Jewish and Christian religiosity in deep and compelling ways. Ellis does not attempt to offer an exhaustive account of either the Holocaust or 1492 or their political, cultural, and religious consequences. Rather, he attempts to share with the reader a point of view that comes from his own experience of these two events as a Jew born in the first generation after the Holocaust, one who has also experienced some aspects of contemporary Christian life. Recorded here are some of the author's reflections that crystallized on and after what became for him, a journey of endings and, as significant, new beginnings.
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