We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Nostra Ætate and the Covenant: an ill-conceived concept stretched beyond its limits

ROWE, BEDE,LEE (2018) Nostra Ætate and the Covenant: an ill-conceived concept stretched beyond its limits. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In 2015, a Commission of the Catholic Church produced a document describing the relationship between Judaism and the Church. This document used the irrevocable nature of the Old Testament covenant which God made with the Jews as the base of its theological argument. I wish to investigate this use of covenant from both Biblical stand point, as well as its use in both conciliar and post-conciliar documents, as it typifies the current direction of theology in the area of Catholic Jewish relations. Thus, in the first section my thesis examines the use of ‘covenant’ in the Old Testament texts, and the rise of covenant as a short-lived organising principle in Old Testament scholarship. In the second, I examine the development of covenant with particular attention to its presence or absence in the Vatican Council’s declaration Nostra Ætate, together with other conciliar texts. I trace the development of this covenantal language through the other post conciliar documents concerning the relationship of Judaism to Christianity. I end in the third section by outlining the dangers of using covenant in this manner, and propose a completely different solution to the relationship of Judaism to the Church and to salvation.

My argument throughout the thesis is that covenant is not one single concept. In the Old Testament, there is no single covenant, nor does covenant occupy an unbroken position within Old Testament scholarship up to the eve of the Council. Covenant plays no significant role in the conciliar discussions and the term was not used in the final conciliar documents in a consistent manner. I conclude that the use of ‘covenant’ as the foundational description of Judaism, and thus her relationship to salvation and the Church, is a much later development, and is one whose implications have not been fully considered. I conclude that any theology of Jewish/Catholic relations based on covenant will ultimately fail, as the basis on which the relationship stands (covenant) is not and cannot be, used for that purpose.

I present a modest proposal, radically recasting the connection of Judaism to the Church.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Nostra Aetate, Second Vatican Council, covenant, Catholic-Jewish relations
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2018 13:53

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter