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Searching Her Own Mystery

Vatican II's Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) transformed the Catholic view of the Jewish people and the Jewish religious tradition. Asserting that the Church discovers her link to the ""stock of Abraham"" when ""searching her own mystery,"" Nostra Aetate intimated that the mystery of Israel is inseparable from the mystery of the Church. As interlocking mysteries, each community requires the other in order to understand itself. In Searching Her Own Mystery, noted Messianic Jewish theologian Mark S. Kinzer argues that the Church has yet to explore adequately the implications of Nostra Aetate for Christian self-understanding. The new Catholic teaching concerning Israel should produce fresh perspectives on the entire range of Christian theology, including Christology, ecclesiology, and the theology of the sacraments. To this end, Kinzer proposes an Israel-ecclesiology rooted in Israel-Christology in which a restored ecclesia ex circumcisione--the ""church from the circumcision""--assumes a crucial role as a sacramental sign of the Church's bond with the Jewish people and genealogical-Israel's irrevocable election. ""The implications of Nostra Aetate lay dormant for a decade or so until the Pontificate of John Paul II. Since then, Catholic thinkers have begun to probe more deeply how the mystery of Israel is related to that of the Church. Mark Kinzer has thought long and hard about these issues and the reader will be the beneficiary of his learning on this important issue."" --Gary A. Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana ""This is another beautifully written and powerful theological work from leading Messianic Jewish theologian Mark Kinzer. Kinzer, who is not a Catholic but whose life has been marked by rich dialogue with Catholics, urges the Catholic Church to open up explicitly Jewish ecclesial environments for Torah-observant Messianic Jews within the Catholic Church. While I differ from him in significant ways, I agree with him that Catholics must attend ever more deeply to the implications of God's covenantal election of the Jewish people and to the enduring spiritual value, in God's plan, of the Jewish people's observance of the Torah."" --Matthew Levering, Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois ""Mark Kinzer has written a deeply thought-provoking and significant book on furthering the communion between Messianic Jews and the Catholic Church. He presents clearly and creatively his scriptural and theological arguments, and the interweaving of his personal pilgrimage to faith in Jesus. His subsequent journey in that faith adds poignancy and eloquence to his theological project. The theological academy, and especially the Catholic scholars within it, ought seriously to engage this book, and Catholic bishops ought to read it with a sympathetic eye and a discerning spirit."" --Thomas G. Weinandy, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC Mark S. Kinzer is Rabbi of Congregation Zera Avraham in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and President Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. He is the author of Postmissionary Messianic Judaism (2005) and Israel's Messiah and the People of God (2011).
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