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Title: Reconsidering otherness in the shadow of the Holocaust : some proposals for post-Holocaust ecclesiology
Author: Leggett, Katie Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 6108
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation combines a sustained reflection on the European and North American Post-Holocaust theological landscape with the themes of otherness, exclusion, and identity. The study aims to offer a constructive contribution toward ecclesiology in a post-Holocaust world riven with a rejection of otherness. The consensus among Holocaust scholars is that the moral failure of the churches to engage on behalf of the vast majority of victims of the Third Reich evinces a profound sickness at the heart of the Christian faith. Both Holocaust theologians and ecclesial statements have made notable strides towards diagnosing and curing this illness through proposals to radically reshape Christian theology in the shadow of Holocaust atrocities. However, rarely have these proposals outlined revisions in the realm of practical theology, specifically relating to ecclesiology and how the Christian community might live as church in the post-Holocaust era. This study conducts an interdisciplinary analysis of dominant trends within post-Holocaust theology through the hermeneutical lens of the propensity to abandon, dominate, or eliminate the Other. It argues that the leitmotif of post-Holocaust proposals for revision, i.e. the refutation of antisemitism and a renewed emphasis on Christian/Jewish solidarity, is potentially an exacerbation of the problem of otherness rather than a corrective. Chapter one cultivates a conceptual lens of a rejection of otherness, highlighting its pervasiveness and its deleterious implications for Christian churches. Chapter two surveys a wide range of post-Holocaust ecclesial statements as well as reflections by Holocaust theologians in order to portray the churches’ own perception of their role during the Holocaust and how they have begun to reformulate Christian theology and practice in this light. Chapter three analyzes three dominant trends that come to light when the post-Holocaust landscape is assessed through the lens of otherness. Chapter four explores dynamics of Christian and ecclesial identity as a framework for the cultivation of multi-dimensional identities which make space for the Other. Finally, chapter five will briefly envision some ecclesial characteristics and practices that might better equip churches with the moral resources to resist a rejection of otherness and build an ethical responsibility for the Other into the core of ecclesial identity.
Supervisor: Holtschneider, Hannah; Clegg, Cecelia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Post-Holocaust theological landscape ; otherness ; exclusion ; identity ; ecclesiology