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Cushing, Spellman, O'Connor
The Surprising Story of How Three American Cardinals Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations
PAPERBACK; Published: 12/20/2011
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6567-0
157 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
In Stock
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Highlights the legacy of three amazing, influential Roman Catholic cardinals

In this illuminating book Rabbi James Rudin describes how the vision and commitment of Cardinals Richard Cushing, Francis Spellman, and John O'Connor helped to transform Jewish- Catholic relations in the second half of the twentieth century. Two introductory chapters contextualize their actions and reveal the extraordinary nature of these cardinals' actions.

Pithy and accessible, this book will spark lively discussion among church and synagogue study groups. It will also add compelling case studies to seminary courses on ecumenism and interfaith dialogue -- regardless of any given group's position on the ideological spectrum.

Read an excerpt on EerdWord.
Raymond L. Flynn
-- U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican (1993-1997); Mayor of Boston (1984-1993)
"An insightful and riveting book about Catholic-Jewish relations . . . Jim Rudin's book captures the vision and commitment of Cushing, Spellman, and O'Connor. For students of Jewish-Catholic history, this is a must-read."
Ed Koch
-- Mayor of New York City (1978-1989)
"I was privileged to be mayor of New York City in 1984 when John Cardinal O'Connor came to our city, ultimately to become Cardinal, and was blessed and rewarded with his friendship. This book is a wonderful read."
Philip A. Cunningham
-- St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia
"By setting the lives of three influential post-Holocaust American cardinals in the context of the long-standing anti-Jewish Christian tradition, Rabbi Rudin has opened a fascinating window into the Catholic-Jewish rapprochement of the past five decades. Both Jewish and Christian readers will come away with a vivid appreciation of how individuals acting decisively at pivotal moments can steer the course of history. Informed by his own involvement in parts of the story, Rabbi Rudin dramatically underscores the transformative importance of the Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate and the American contribution to its realization, making his book required reading in preparation for that document's upcoming fiftieth anniversary."
Celia Deutsch
— Barnard College
"Rabbi Rudin makes a fresh contribution to the study of Catholic-Jewish relations by recounting the fascinating story of three churchmen. . . . In prose that is clear and engaging, he describes the contributions of Cushing, Spellman, and O'Connor to the radical shift in Catholic-Jewish relations in the context of these men's relationships with Jewish family members and friends. It is a story that bears hope, inspiration, and challenge for the future."
Rabbi David Fox Sandmel
-- Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
"James Rudin's engaging and compelling new book reminds us that what many today take for granted was inconceivable a mere fifty years ago. In his reconstruction of this transformative era of interreligious history, Rudin describes the lives of three American churchmen who brought about revolutionary change in the Roman Catholic Church's teaching about Jews and Judaism. He deftly weaves together the long and often tragic history of Christian anti-Judaism, the impact of the Holocaust on religious thought, and the intrigue of Vatican politics. Rudin highlights how the American environment shaped not only the lives of these three men, but also changed the course of history; in this regard it is truly an American story."
"Three twentieth-century American cardinals did more than any others for Catholic-Jewish rapprochement, says Rudin, who, as the American Jewish Committee's point man on interreligious affairs for three decades, should know. Richard Cushing of Boston and Francis Spellman of New York both spoke up for the reconciliatory Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate, when it was most needed, and the career military chaplain who held the see of New York 20 years after Spellman, John O'Connor, put good relations with Jews in the front rank of his pastoral concerns during his 17-year tenure. After summaries of 2,000 years of Catholic-Jewish encounters and the shorter, often similar stories of Catholics and Jews in the U.S., Rudin sketches Cushing and Spellman up to their crucial Vatican II interventions on behalf of freedom of religion and against all anti-Semitism."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
"Offers a well-written and compelling history of the interfaith work of three American born cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church and how they changed the face of Jewish-Christian relations."
Congregational Libraries Today
"An insightful presentation that highlights the courage, vision, and commitment of the three cardinals. . . . This brief history merits the attention of all people of faith."