Variations on the Messianic Theme: A Case Study of Interfaith Dialogue

Variations on the Messianic Theme: A Case Study of Interfaith Dialogue

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Marion Wyse

Series: Judaism and Jewish Life
ISBN: 9781934843475 (hardcover) 
Pages: 264 pp.
Publication Date: July 2009

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Over fifty years after the Holocaust, Marion Wyse explores interfaith dialogue between the Jewish and Christian communities and attempts to evaluate what goals these communities have reached and where they now stand. While many painful issues have been addressed and Jews and Christians in dialogue have achieved a solid respect for each other, the basic disagreement over the Christian designation of Jesus as the Jewish messiah still stands. Theologians have suggested varying approaches but none convince both parties. This work employs William James’ radical empirical method to show that the original Jewish messianic concept, the Christian shift, and the Jewish repudiation of the shift, can each be seen as valid faith variants.


Marion Wyse is a professor of Asian studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She is a multi-University of Toronto graduate. Her ThD (1998) investigated the history of the Jewish-Christian dialogue. She taught for six years in China's Xiamen University and for three years in Moscow affiliated with Touro College, New York. Her article "Fa Lun Gong and Religious Freedom" was published by Cross Currents in 2000.


Wyse’s explorations, beginning post-Shoah and retracing the steps backward into history to recover the idea of the messianic concept, hopefully to bring about future redemption and the reign of God, about which Jesus spoke and which Wyse holds out as the highest ideal for both religions, are extremely important.
— Libby Garshowitz, University of Toronto, in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies