Mark S. Kinzer, a prominent Messianic Jewish theologian and rabbi, maintains his faith in Yeshua as Messiah while professing allegiance to the written Torah and subsequent Jewish tradition. Kinzer defines his position within the framework of Judaism in the twenty-first century as “postmissionary Messianic Judaism,” arguing that earlier modes of what was referred to as Hebrew Christianity engendered a lingering tendency within the Messianic Jewish movement to take on the practice of Judaism as a mantle of respectability to win over those members of the Jewish community not yet confessing Yeshua as Messiah. Kinzer unabashedly argues for the disavowal of this lingering missionary perspective. Instead, reminiscent of the Jerusalem Council decision described in Acts 15, the implications of which have been ensconced in a fifth century Roman mosaic in Santa Sabina depicting the ecclesia ex circumcision and the ecclesia ex gentibus, Kinzer promotes a truly bilateral Ecclesia, embracing while distinguishing circumcised and gentile believers in Yeshua as Messiah. Kinzer argues that the complete bilateral Ecclesia should function in union with the complete Judaism of the twenty-first century, comprising biblical elements and subsequent oral and mystical developments within a context which does not explicitly recognise Yeshua as the Messiah.
Here it will be argued that Kinzer’s treatment of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity offers a vision of “communion in the Messiah” which advances a view of the human person in community that can be expanded through an encounter with the personalism of Jacques Maritain, one of the twentieth century’s leading Christian philosophers in the Thomist tradition with strong theological proclivities. Maritain’s personalism will be explained in the course of this paper. In turn, Kinzer’s postmissionary Messianic Judaism may complete the theological foundation for Maritain’s personalism.
Jacques Maritain’s marriage to Raïssa Oumançoff, their conversion, along with Raïssa’s sister Vera, to Roman Catholicism, and their subsequent extraordinary triadic familial arrangement as Benedictine oblates is the stuff of legend in certain Roman Catholic scholarly circles. What is significant here is that the Jewish background of Raïssa and Vera, along with other influences, engendered in Jacques a profound appreciation of the Jewish people, their significance in the world, and their identification with the Messiah, prompting Jacques to state during the outbreak of the Second World War that in all forms of anti-Semitism “the seed is hidden, more or less inert or active, of that spiritual disease which today throughout the world is bursting out into a homicidal, myth-making phobia, and the secret soul of which is resentment against the Gospel: ‘Christophobia.’”
Serving as the French ambassador to the Vatican after the war, Maritain came to work with his admirer and translator, Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Saint Pope Paul VI, who presided over the Second Vatican Council after the death of Saint Pope John XXIII. Relentlessly, Maritain sought the Church’s clear condemnation of racism, anti-Semitism and Nazi atrocities without fully attaining the goal he desired.
What is more, Maritain worked on the preparation of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document addressing relations between Roman Catholicism and other religious traditions, and he wished to employ language suggesting that anti-Semitism be treated as a heresy condemned in line with the condemnation of Christian heresies. This, the Council refused to do, as Robert Royal notes in his introduction as editor to the American Maritain Association’s publication, Jacques Maritain and the Jews:
Maritain argued in favor of even more forceful formulations condemning anti-Semitism and promoting respect for the Jewish people than were finally adopted by the Council. For example, he supported a clause stating: “The Church condemns (Lat. damnat) hatreds and persecutions of the Jews.” In the final text, damnat (a word usually applied to heretics) was changed to deplorat, i.e., “deplores.” Maritain’s influence led to a major victory, but one that he wished would have gone even further.
This paper will address explicit theological concerns while discussing the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, and expand into a broader philosophical discussion when exploring Maritain’s understanding of the person, community, and the rational structure of society. The philosophical turn will come in the section, “Connatural Intimacy through Existential Diversity: Person, Community, and Society.” The remainder of the paper is an interplay of theological and philosophical concerns.
First, the theological stage will be set by establishing a “hermeneutics of ethical accountability” as the predominant hermeneutic within which Kinzer the theologian explicitly operates and Maritain the philosopher cum theologian implicitly operates. Here an important distinction between Kinzer and Maritain in relation to Judaism will emerge while establishing Maritain’s views on grace, the Church, and Judaism.
Second, Kinzer’s challenge to Maritain will be developed through his approach to communion in the Messiah.
Third, we will explore how Maritain’s personalist vision, within the context of his understanding of connaturality, grace, organic community, and rational society expands Kinzer’s treatment of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
Fourth, Maritain’s inclusive vision will be established in relation to his treatment of history and eschatology.
Fifth, through examining how Kinzer’s and Maritain’s commitment to ethical accountability functions in relation to encountering every other, the centrality of the particular in their treatment of history and eschatological fulfillment will emerge. Also, it will become apparent how Kinzer may complete the theological foundation for Maritain’s personalism.
In conclusion, we will take a brief look at signs of “communion in the Messiah,” as indicated by Kinzer.
Needless to say, doctrinal discrepancy around such issues as the Trinity, Incarnation, and the celebration of religious feasts presents a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to any rapprochement between the ecclesia ex circumcision and the ecclesia ex gentibus, and the “how” of any union with Judaism not explicitly acknowledging Yeshua as the Messiah appears to be even more elusive. This confrontation with enigma and mystery need not, however, paralyze our efforts to attain a foundational orientation.
Any treatment of Judaism, Christianity and the world, in conjunction with each other must heed Maritain’s observation concerning all three:
Israel is a mystery. Of the same order as the mystery of the world or of the Church. Like them, it lies at the heart of redemption. A philosophy of history, aware of theology, can attempt to reach some knowledge of this mystery, but the mystery will surpass the knowledge in all directions. Our ideas and our consciousness can be immersed in such things; they cannot circumscribe them.
Certainly Kinzer would agree with Maritain’s observation and the astute remarks of Michael Novak, a prominent American Catholic philosopher and admirer of Maritain, commenting on Maritain’s words: “. . . to review the history of the Jewish people is to be prompted to wonder. The concept ‘mystery’ is intended to capture this. Of problems the human mind is master; but in the presence of mystery, no matter how far it pushes the boundaries of its knowledge, it encounters its own inadequacy.”
The foundational premise of this paper, however, is that theological and philosophical attention to the existential particular allows us to discern the players and the places wherein the mystery unfolds.
Hermeneutics of Ethical Accountability, Judaism, and the Church of Christ
In his approach to biblical texts, Kinzer favorably references biblical scholars R. Alan Culpepper and Charles Cosgrove. Establishing their respective approaches to biblical hermeneutics sets the stage for further exploration of Maritain’s personalism as well as Kinzer’s treatment of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
Culpepper champions a hermeneutics of ethical accountability, whereby approaching the Bible as a canonical whole yields a lens of interpretation wedded to ethical behavior. This sets a normative ethical standard enabling the interpreter to more clearly see what is implied in diverse biblical texts by examining not only the texts themselves, but also the traditional and historical results of interpretations through other hermeneutical devices. Here one thinks primarily of a supersessionist hermeneutic whereby Christianity simply replaces Judaism, and which has governed the Christian approach to Judaism for centuries; but one might also consider what has been referred to as “apocalyptic hermeneutics,” embracing dualism and cataclysmic destruction, and which has wrought havoc in Christianity since its emergence.
As Kinzer would have it: “the basic thesis of a canonical and theological interpretation of scripture is that our reading of each text and each book should be guided by the vision of the cannon as a whole, as viewed within the life of the believing community in the context of its journey through history.” Complementing Culpepper, Cosgrove takes us to the foundation of a hermeneutics of ethical accountability, adhering to an ethical normative standard derived from the Bible which enables one to choose from a number of plausible interpretations; in this way he aligns himself with a postmodern perspective while firmly planting himself in the soil of biblical revelation.
Whereas Kinzer’s interest in a hermeneutics of ethical accountability is predominantly concerned with the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in opposition to a supersessionist hermeneutic, Culpepper’s use of the hermeneutics of ethical accountability in his study of the Gospel of John is forthrightly all encompassing:
Sensitized to the challenges of our pluralistic culture—indeed, of our world—the interpreter may find that another part of the solution comes from the Gospel itself. That is, he or she may be able to identify facets of the text that resonate with our quest for what we may call a hermeneutics of ethical accountability. For example, the Fourth Gospel’s declaration of God’s boundless love for the world undermines its polemic against “the Jews.” Its concern that the community of faith may be one undermines social and ethnic barriers between believers, and its affirmation that the work of the Logos cannot be confined to the period of the Incarnation opens the way for affirming the experiences and heritages of persons of faith in other religious traditions.
In his understanding of the Church, Maritain appears to adhere more closely to Culpepper’s broad perspective than Kinzer does by focusing on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. For Maritain, grace completes nature and elevates it to the supernatural Kingdom of God, and history becomes a salvific process through the Church, a Church which may be invisibly present within the world. For Christians there can be only one Savior of the world, and for Maritain there is only one visible manifestation of the body of those united in Christ for the salvation of the world. Maritain proposes, however, that the visible Church may be invisibly present and active in those committed to other belief structures, although only the Christian denominations contain elements of the Church in the proper sense as organized bodies. Writing after the Second Vatican Council, in On the Church of Christ: The Person of the Church and Her Personnel, Maritain summarizes his bottom line for membership in the Church of Christ: “It is an absolutely fundamental and universal element of Church which we must discover. Where to seek it? In my opinion, in man himself such as he comes into the world.”
Here Maritain reiterates prior treatment of “the first act of freedom” expressed by every human agent, wherein he argues that faith in God as the Savior Who is none other than Jesus Christ can be present in confuso and remain in a pre-conscious or barely conscious apprehension without any conceptual framework and leading to salvation.
Furthermore, although arguing that only Christian denominations contain elements of the Church in the proper sense as organized bodies, Maritain, referencing Aquinas, acknowledges along with forms of natural mystical experience, the probable reception of sanctifying grace leading to salvation by practitioners of religions other than Christianity—this he perceives within devotional modes of Hinduism and Islam, specifically naming the Hindu sage Ramanuja and the Sufi mystic Mansur al-Hallaj.
Maritain’s disparagement of the salvific value of practice in religions beyond the pale of the Christian denominations allows for the salvation of individual members of non-Christian religions only through invisible membership in the Church of Christ. It does appear, however, in his treatment of devotional modes of Hinduism and Islam that for Maritain another religious family can offer at least a modicum of help, as Maritain observes in relation to Judaism: “it is not to the house of Israel, it is to the Church” that God gives “the pleroma of all graces. And all the faithful of the Synagogue who are individually saved—it is insofar as they are invisibly a part of the Church, whatever help their hearts have been able to receive from their own religious family.”
This contrast between appreciation and disparagement of religious traditions other than Christianity becomes especially problematic in Maritain’s approach to Judaism. Although Maritain acknowledges a supernatural faith within Judaism and the preservation of biblical texts as the elements of Church, and appreciates the seeking of intimacy with God within Judaism in movements such as Hasidism, he nevertheless argues in his late work, On the Church of Christ, that
[I]f in themselves the elements in question are linked with the Whole of which they are a part, and which is the Church, nevertheless an inhibition—which proceeds from the fact that this religious family, which believes in the most holy God, does not believe in Christ Savior—prevents them from rendering the Church mysteriously present in it. Israel was formerly the Church in one of her preparatory ages. It would be futile to speak of an invisible presence of the visible Church in the Israel of today.
For Maritain, however important is the historical role of Israel since the time of Messiah, so long as it does not explicitly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, Israel is only indirectly concerned with the salvation of the world. In a pivotal essay on Judaism, “The Mystery of Israel,” first published as “L’Impossible antisémitisme” in 1937, Maritain writes:
In what indirectly concerns the salvation of the world, Israel is obedient to a vocation which I think above all deserves emphasis, and which supplies a key for many enigmas. Whereas the Church is assigned the task of the supernatural and supratemporal saving of the world, to Israel is assigned, in the order of temporal history and its own finalities, the work of the earthly leavening of the world. Israel is here—Israel which is not of the world—at the deepest core of the world, to irritate it, to exasperate it, to move it. Like some foreign substance, like a living yeast mixed into the main body, it gives the world no quiet, it prevents the world from sleeping, it teaches the world to be dissatisfied and restless so long as it has not God, it stimulates the movement of history.
Furthermore, in this essay Maritain argues that as a consecrated people, the exclusively earthly and indirect contribution of Israel to the salvation of the world entails a certain heightened ambiguity. This ambiguity produces “money making, which finds in capitalist civilization an appropriate ambience,” as well as “revolutionary impatience” and “ceaseless agitation,” and “finally, it can produce, when of the flesh but affecting spiritual things, a pharisaic trend of mind, and the blinding refinements of the harsh cult of the letter, a legal purism.”
Perhaps it was his contention concerning such ambiguity not previously articulated in writing that allowed Maritain to advocate restrictions on the Jews in “Á propos de la Question Juive,” published in 1921, prompting John Hellman, the eminent historian of French Catholicism in the period leading up to the Second World War, to observe,
Citing St. Thomas, Jacques Maritain always distinguished between the religious Jews with their mysterious supernatural role and the “carnal” Jews. Since Maritain eschewed racial hatred he became known as a great friend of the Jews—even if his “carnal” Jews would not be given total freedom in a “Christian” democracy. While the Christian order would take measures to restrain secularizing Jews, it would denounce racial hatred and keep open the highest of hopes for those Jews of good will, the believing Jews, the potential converts.
Furthermore, in “The Mystery of Israel,” Maritain appears to forestall any affinity with Kinzer’s notion of a bilateral Ecclesia retaining the ecclesia ex circumcision:
With all Jews in whom grace dwells, as with all souls of good faith and good will, the work of the Cross is present, but veiled and unperceived, and involuntarily experienced. Despite himself, and in an obscuring mist, the pious Jew, the Jew of the spirit, carries the gentle Cross, and thus betrays Judaism without realizing what he does. The moment he begins to be aware of this mystery of forgiveness and of this putting off of self, he finds himself on the road to Christianity.
There is some ambivalence, however, regarding Maritain’s mature treatment of Judaism and his apparent forestalling of any affinity with Kinzer’s bilateral Ecclesia. As the eminent Maritain Thomist Bernard E. Doering points out: Maritain did distance himself from his early reflections in 1921 concerning restrictions on secular Jews, precisely in line with his Christian democracy advocating pluralism and human rights. Concerning Maritain eschewing any affinity with Kinzer’s notion of a bilateral Ecclesia, it must be recalled how Maritain himself boldly states in “The Mystery of Israel,” perhaps without realizing the full implications of his statement, that “Jews who become like others become worse than others. (When a Jew receives Christian grace, he is less than ever like others: he has found his Messiah.)”
Although Kinzer clearly defines the visible Ecclesia as bilateral, consisting of the circumcised and gentile believers in Yeshua as Messiah, it can be argued that Kinzer would allow for the invisible presence of the visible Church within Judaism which does not now acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah. Perhaps more accurately, it can be argued that Kinzer would allow for a mutual invisible indwelling through communion in the Messiah. Compiling a brief outline of Kinzer’s contention concerning the mutual indwelling of Judaism and Christianity through communion in the Messiah becomes the focus of the next section of this paper.
Turning to Cosgrove, it is first necessary to briefly depict his apprehension of the foundation of a hermeneutics of ethical accountability. Fully acknowledging, in line with Culpepper, the challenges of our pluralistic culture, Cosgrove adopts Matthew’s version of the two great commandments, love of God and love of neighbour as oneself (Matt 22:34–40), as the biblical normative standard. Cosgrove bestows “hermeneutical priority” on the second great commandment referring to Yeshua’s saying “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12). In this way, Cosgrove encapsulates the first great commandment in the second, for this is the way to enact or “do” love of God, as Kinzer notes: “The inextricable bond between the theoretical and practical realms is fundamental to Jewish thought.”
Having made his choice for this dynamic of ethical accountability, Cosgrove eschews the dismissal of the other in certain plausible supersessionist interpretations of Paul in favour of a more hopeful plausible interpretation. Cosgrove maintains that the history of Christian anti-Semitism in itself offers a moral imperative for choosing as he does. Kinzer, however, ever mindful of the full historical and theological entrenchment of Christian supersessionism, asserts that “Cosgrove could have strengthened his case by stating explicitly that the alternative readings of Paul have been integral parts of the traditional Christian supersessionist theology of Israel and the church.”
Kinzer, approving Cosgrove’s exegesis of Matthew when dealing with Luke-Acts, draws attention to the mutual dependency of the two great commandments on each other for integral and sustained existential activation. Kinzer notes the Parable of the Rich Ruler (Luke 18:18–30), wherein a rich young man, who reportedly seeks eternal life while claiming to obey the imperatives of the second table of the Decalogue concerned with human relationships, is asked to do one thing more by giving all he has to the poor and following Yeshua. Kinzer then brings this parable into line with the dual presentation of the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the account of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:25–42), wherein the parable clearly emphasises “doing” love of God and the account of Martha and Mary points again to the one thing more, when Yeshua sanctions Mary’s attention while Martha enacts the service implied in the second great commandment. This allows Kinzer to observe that “the two stories of Luke 10:25–42 [the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the account of Martha and Mary] should be viewed as a unit that comments on the commandments of the Torah as the path that leads to eternal life.”
Cosgrove’s giving “hermeneutical priority” to the second great commandment, in order to stress the existential imperative involving the other, never sidetracks the first great commandment, associated with the first table of the Decalogue, concerning our relationship with the Other. Cosgrove acknowledges that the first commandment is greater than the second in the hierarchy of obligations, thereby assuming adherence to the first while performing the second.
Maritain’s treatment of the human person as the image of God in the context of loving relationships expands a hermeneutics of ethical accountability into broader social and political realms. In the final two sections of this paper, we will explore this expansion and come to see how Kinzer’s approach to invisible mutual indwelling may serve as a theological support for Maritain’s personalism.
Communion in the Messiah
Maritain favorably quotes the Jewish writer Maurice Samuel and thereby implies that the centuries of Christian anti-Semitism are in truth a Christophobic reaction and betrayal of the Messiah:
We shall never understand the maniacal, world-wide seizure of anti-Semitism unless we transpose the terms. It is of Christ that the Nazi-Fascists are afraid; it is in his omnipotence that they believe; it is him that they are determined madly to obliterate. But the names of Christ and Christianity are too overwhelming, and the habit of submission to them is too deeply ingrained after centuries and centuries of teaching. Therefore they must, I repeat, make their assault on those who were responsible for the birth and spread of Christianity. They must spit on the Jews as the “Christ-killers” because they long to spit on the Jews as the “Christ-givers.”
Given his contention that anti-Semitism is a Christophobic reaction, thereby identifying the Jewish people as a whole with Christ as Savior, it is surprising that Maritain does not recognize the invisible presence of the Church of Jesus Christ in the practice of the Jewish people as a whole. Finding common ground in the admittedly distinct practices of Judaism and Christianity is precisely the vehicle Kinzer uses to promote their mutual indwelling in communion with the Messiah.
Kinzer challenges Maritain’s assessment of Jewish religious practice. By way of referencing Bruce Marshall, Kinzer includes Jacques Maritain and Maritain’s close friend and ally Cardinal Charles Journet among those who prior to the Second Vatican Council “affirmed the election of the Jewish people and at the same time denied the enduring covenantal significance of Jewish religious practice.”
It is noteworthy that such notions of the invisible presence of the visible Church within Judaism and of the invisible mutual indwelling of Judaism and Christianity through communion in the Messiah have been explicitly acknowledged by the Russian Orthodox priest Lev Gillet with his eye on eschatological fulfillment, in Communion in the Messiah: Studies in the Relationship between Judaism and Christianity, first published in 1942. Kinzer readily acknowledges Gillet’s contribution to his own understanding of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in relation to the Jewish Messiah, quoting Gillet approvingly:
A Jew who accepts (not only intellectually) Jesus as Messiah enters into communion with the Messiah as Jesus, and with the community of the followers of Jesus. Reciprocally, a Christian who becomes aware of the Jewish contents of his own faith and inwardly responds to this new awareness enters into communion with Jesus as Jewish Messiah and invisibly with the Messianic community of Israel, insofar as the Messiah displays an immanent activity inside it. Thus the Mission—the two-fold Mission—ends in communion.
For Maritain, “The bond of Israel remains a sacred and supra-historical bond, but a bond of promise, not of possession; of nostalgia, not of sanctity. For a Christian who remembers that the promises of God are without repentance, Israel continues its sacred mission, but in the night of the world which is preferred to God’s night.”
For Kinzer and Gillet, “Maritain is careful to restrict the Jewish task of ‘activation’ of the world to ‘the plane’ and ‘the limits of secular history.’ We shall go further and say that these true Israelites belong to sacred history and achieve a redeeming work in the diaspora.”
Kinzer strengthens this contention by utilizing the insights of the eminent Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Hermann Henrix, who argues that the Torah-Christology of Pope Benedict XVI, viewed from within the context of the teaching of Saint Pope John Paul II, suggests that faithful Jews who observe the mitzvot and honor the Torah, enter through their obedience and practice into communion with Jesus Christ. Such practice issues from the heartbeat of ethical accountability. Henrix observes,
If Christians trust in God’s blessing upon Jewish walking in accord with Israel’s Torah and if this halakhic “walking” can be considered salvific only when related to the fundamental Christian belief that every salvation is the salvation of Jesus Christ, then saying that Jesus Christ is the living Torah can be understood as denoting such mediation. Then that which for Jews is salvific—life according to the Torah, trust in God’s word, faith in God’s promise—would be in contact with Jesus Christ and would be taken up in him in a way that confirms, reaffirms, or reinforces, since Jesus Christ is obedient to the Torah and fulfills it . . . Whoever obeys the Torah as a Jew and strives toward the goal “to be an incarnation of the Torah,” walks on his or her way in a manner that, because of Jesus Christ’s link with the Torah, Christians believe to be salvific communion with Christ as the Torah incarnate.
Furthermore, Kinzer notes that “Henrix’s focus upon ‘salvific communion’ should be understood in the broad Catholic sense of God’s healing and transformative power at work in the renewal of human life, rather than in a narrow sense restricted to the question of inheriting the world to come.” Here, one might argue that Henrix offers a rapprochement between Maritain’s relegation of Jewish practice, albeit supernatural and providential, to the secular “night of the world” and the contention of Gillet and Kinzer that true Israelites belong to sacred history and achieve a redeeming work in the diaspora.
Kinzer focuses on five fundamental sacramental signs within Judaism, expressions of kedusha (holiness), indicating salvific activity within the practice of Judaism: “(1) Israel as holy people; (2) the Sabbath (and the holidays) as holy time; (3) the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem as holy place; (4) the Torah as holy word; and (5) the mitzvot (i.e., commandments) as holy deeds.” And, what is of utmost significance, Kinzer notes that “all five of these realities exist independently of the Jerusalem Temple, and their status in Jewish life was unchanged by the Temple’s destruction.”
Furthermore, Kinzer directly associates these five areas of sacramental activity within the continuing practice of Judaism with traditional sacramental activity within the ecclesia ex gentibus: “Jews have generally approached these five realities in a manner closely resembling the way Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and liturgically-oriented Protestants have treated Christian sacraments. By God’s gracious decision and action, each of the five bears an intrinsic holiness that sets it apart from other members of its earthly class (i.e., peoples, times, places, words, deeds).”
Kinzer is also careful to note the influence of Jewish mysticism within the context of traditional Judaism, which allows for criticism of a purely secular Judaism: “The increasing influence of Jewish mystical thought and practice in the medieval period accentuated this sacramental approach. While Jews of a rationalistic bent have criticized such sacramentalism, their position represented a minority viewpoint until the modern era, and remains a minority viewpoint within the world of traditional Judaism.”
According to Kinzer, the mitzvot which constitute the heart of the Torah, especially when seen in the light of Cosgrove’s focus on the foundation of a hermeneutics of ethical accountability in the two great commandments presented in the Gospel of Matthew, “represent the characteristic behavior of God, and to keep them is to imitate God. The Sages depict God as one who visits the sick, feeds the hungry, and comforts mourners; when Israel observes the mitzvot that command such behavior, they are entering into God’s own way of life.”
Furthermore, referencing the Hasidic heritage of the renowned Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (and here it is worth recalling Maritain’s profound respect for the Hasidic seeking of intimacy with God from within Judaism), Kinzer notes,
According to Heschel, the mitzvah does not merely bring us into God’s characteristic way of acting; it also implies a promise that God will join with us in our actions when we make the mitzvot our characteristic way of life. By emphasizing the co-operative nature of the mitzvot—God acting in and with our acting—Heschel heightens the sacramental dimension of the mitzvot that is already central to the tradition.
It is this sacramental channel of grace and invitation in communion with the Messiah, whether explicitly acknowledged as Yeshua or invisibly operative within the Jewish practice of obedience to the mitzvot, which is being obfuscated through Christian supersessionism, even in its mitigated form a la Maritain. Without retaining the ecclesia ex circumcision, we fail to attain what might be called the “Judeo-Christian Complex,” the intimate union of Judaism and Christianity through mutual invisible indwelling. Such failure obstructs the work of the Messiah.
In this context, it is highly significant that for Maritain the often harsh words against the Jews found in the writings of the Church Fathers are “oratorical devices, due to the confrontation of two opposite proselytisms.” Maritain perceives in such writings “only strayings of polemics and verbal rages.” Furthermore, in consideration of the clash between what he identifies as “two opposite proselytisms,” Maritain asserts that for the Church Fathers “it was a question above all of averting the dangers arising for the faith from this mixture of customs and of beliefs which one calls Judeo-Christianity.” Here what Kinzer would acknowledge as a boundary within the bilateral Ecclesia becomes the demarcation between opposing belief structures.
Kinzer summarizes this schizmatic plight in the absence of the ecclesia ex circumcision through an observation concerning baptism:
If there are no Jews within the body of Christ whose baptism functions as a realization rather than nullification of their Jewish identity, an identity that was already inherently sacramental and messianic, then the ecclesia loses something of fundamental importance. We can see this most clearly in the case of the baptism of Gentiles. The sacrament of baptism is intended to initiate them into an expanded eschatological Israel, which retains its intimate relationship to genealogical-Israel. If the social, cultural, and religious connection to genealogical-Israel for Jews is severed by their baptism rather than affirmed and renewed, then gentile members of the ecclesia are left stranded, cut off from the extended community to which their baptism was supposed to join them. In this way ecclesial denial of Jewish sacramental life results in damage to an ecclesial sacrament instituted by Jesus.
Anticipating the following section of this paper, it must be pointed out that communion in the Messiah is precisely that—communion and not monistic absorption. Presumably, it is the full recognition of the other in Messiah, and not their cancelation, which prompted Paul to exclaim: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:28–29). In his letter to the Colossians, Paul even stresses that renewal in Messiah means that there is no longer “circumcised and uncircumcised” (Col 3:11).
The emphasis on communion in the Messiah as inclusive of the other, in such a way that the boundary or limit establishes identity and allows for union, is accented by Kinzer in a forthright manner in relation to the bilateral Ecclesia:
When gentile Christians circumcise their sons on the eighth day as a sign of the covenant, wear the ritual fringes of the tallit (the Jewish prayer shawl), employ a handwritten Torah scroll in their worship, and sound the shofar (rams horn) as part of their prayer, they are transgressing a boundary that they should be honoring. When Jewish disciples of Jesus do these same things, they are upholding that boundary and assuming their appointed role as a sacramental sign of the ecclesiology of mutual-indwelling.
Connatural Intimacy through Existential Diversity: Person, Community, and Society
Emphasis on the particular is the link between Kinzer and Maritain. In reference to Israel, Kinzer observes that “The particular is not drowned in the ocean of the universal, but is lifted up and sustained as its orienting center. . . . The particularity of the Jewish people is never lost even within the ever expanding horizon of the universal ekkle–sia.” For Maritain, the human person, transcendent and historically instantiated, is the key to identity within community and the establishment of social order through relationship and dialogue. One can say, in the parlance of the twenty-first century that for Maritain true multi-culturalism, eschewing tribalism as well as liberal individualism, entails a pluralist social order accommodating the other through what we share in common.
For Maritain, the conceptual approach to reality in metaphysics, although essential for curtailing the havoc wreaked by a rudderless will, must remain humble and subservient to what is. Anticipating postmodern deconstruction without relinquishing the importance of conceptual adherence to reality, Maritain argues that the modern reification of the idea places us in bondage to the often complex rationalization of the ideologue engaged in liberating the will for technological advance and self-aggrandizement. As Maritain never tires of telling us, from the Cartesian reform, through a liberal society of autonomous individuals, and finally coming to rest in a variety of totalitarian structures, the rudderless will, often mixed with many truths and noble aspirations, has captured our world and seeks to perpetuate itself through false education or manipulative indoctrination which diminishes or even eclipses the simple and basic apprehension of reality and the human person. This primordial apprehension is prior to the science of metaphysics, and it is this primordial apprehension of reality and the human person which must be nurtured through education on every level and in every discipline.
For Maritain, the sine qua non of authentic rational discourse within civil society is attention to our connatural roots, however diverse our conceptual frameworks may be, due to human fallibility and historical limitations. Thomistic philosophical conceptualization is seen by Maritain as adequate precisely because it points beyond itself toward the existent apprehended conceptually, as well as toward the foundational level of awareness and intersubjectivity, whereby reality is known through inclination by way of natural affinity with the reality known. At the foundational level we apprehend reality and the human person through various modes of intellectual and affective connaturality. Maritain’s intellectual existentialism avoids the rationalization of the ideologue while advancing rational and therefore meaningful dialogue founded on existence.
Functioning at the preconceptual foundational level, we are able to encounter and affirm authentic humanity in the individual human person. Maritain tells us that “knowledge through connaturality plays an immense part in human existence, especially in that knowing of the singular which comes about in everyday life and in our relationship of person to person.” It has been observed that attaining the inconceivable uniqueness and personhood of the other appears to be similar to both the receptive side of poetic knowledge and affective mystical experience.
Far from eclipsing diversity through another ideological attempt at abstract universalism, Maritain can be seen as applauding diversity—perhaps in a measure even anticipating Derrida’s “vive la difference!” After the Second World War, Maritain came to argue for a pluralist world society, “a pluralist unity, taking place only through the lasting diversity of the particular bodies politic, and fostering that diversity.”
For Maritain, however, authentic diversity, true to what we do in fact share in common as human beings, must be within reason. Forming a global political society “means that among all peoples the sense of the common good of that one people should develop, and supersede the sense of the common good peculiar to each body politic.” This means that a “sense of civic friendship as large as that one people should also and simultaneously develop.” Always attentive to our connatural base, Maritain tells us that although infinitely different from the supernatural gift of Divine love, “civic love or friendship is the very soul or animating form of every political society.” Respecting our inclination toward intimacy precisely through the existential diversity of individuals and their organic communities, Maritain seeks a rational social structure in conformity with our universal human nature. From Maritain’s intellectual existentialist perspective, equipping the will to pursue its natural intellectual and affective inclinations toward existence and the existent equips the will with the rudder enabling it to avoid the pitfalls of individualist self-aggrandizement and totalitarian ideological traps.
Maritain’s personalist perspective empowers human relationship and authentic rational discourse which exhibits a shared secular faith whereby a very diverse human choir attains harmony through similar practical principles and goals, because “they similarly revere, perhaps for quite diverse reasons, truth and intelligence, human dignity, freedom, brotherly love, and the absolute value of moral good.” The cohesion is maintained here by a common nature responsive to the absolute value of moral good, engaged in rational discourse seeking truth, dignity and freedom within the context of binding love sustaining mutual recognition in pursuit of human flourishing. What at first sight might appear as a concession to the postmodern disavowal of transcendence and the absolute remains a humble commitment to Athens and Jerusalem: a commitment to Being, Truth, the Good, and Love, while acknowledging human limitations.
Ethical Accountability, History, and Eschatological Fulfillment
Maritain establishes deliberative discussion and democratic procedure on our connatural base and the pursuit of global inclusion protected by the discovery and promulgation of universal human rights. He notes what he refers to as a “concrete historical ideal,” the guiding light prompting the pursuit of our particular and unique personhood within the context of a shared nature emergent in a given age. Never fully attainable this side of eternity, a “concrete historical ideal” prompts our growth amidst fluctuations and the ever present challenge of sin and the devil.
Whereas the medieval concrete historical ideal in Western Europe was the ideal of sacrum imperium, based on the empire of Charlemagne, fraught with many problems while upholding the dignity of the human person, a new concrete historical ideal emerges from the European Enlightenment and the American and French Revolutions. Always, the concern is with the progressive liberation of the particular person.
Considering the complexity of thought patterns, events, and diverse legacy of the European Enlightenment and the French Revolution, while appreciating the unique contribution to modernity of the American Revolution, Maritain detects a new concrete historical ideal emerging: “the idea of the holy freedom of the creature whom grace unites to God.” This ideal is exemplified in Maritain’s listing of natural rights, beginning with the right to existence and freedom of conscience before God, and in his involvement with drafting the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Rights in 1948. Positive and negative rights are acknowledged: along with the rights of assembly and speech, we have rights to health care, education and a living wage.
Succeeding the collapse of the medieval concrete historical ideal, the new ideal of holy freedom does not imply a form of Divine imperialism, which seems to have been the case with the ideal of the holy empire. The ideal of the human being’s freedom is even more transcendent than the medieval ideal, because it distinctly acknowledges the rational and spiritual status of each person before God. In this new historical climate, Maritain condemns any attempt to return to the medieval ideal, as was the case with Franco in Spain, as a corruption of the medieval ideal of holy empire into the empire of a merely totalitarian state. For Maritain, democracy, pluralism and securing rights of self expression, along with rights insuring the health, education and material conditions necessary for participation, depict a package indicative of natural human development inspired by Christianity.
The spiritual unity fostered by the medieval period, never fully attained, shattered into what Maritain chastises as a fundamentally anthropocentric humanism amidst the seeds of a theocentric, integral humanism advancing awareness of the historical development of the person. For Maritain, the anthropocentric canvas of modernity depicts an ever greater concentration on the individual alone, as a truncated image of the human being—such is the portrait of humanity which emerges from the time of the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation, through the enlightened age of liberalism, coming to completion in the various modes of totalitarianism covering the latter half of the twentieth century and highlighted in the Nazi racial state.
For Maritain, freedom is much more than the ability to choose while floundering in the jungle of consumerism, hounded by debt and/or the ubiquitous lure of more. Neither is freedom found in submission to some variant of the General Will a la Rousseau, which opens history to the totalitarian plague. As seen in the collective rights of the family, and rights of assembly and organization, our freedom and fulfillment as human beings necessarily involves our bonding with others as well as attaining the essentials of physical well being for ourselves.
Having accentuated the unique human being as the irreplaceable image of God fostering and constituting authentic human community, it was after World War II that Maritain clearly addressed the emerging global dimension of human community in the search for a lasting peace. In a speech delivered at a meeting of UNESCO on April 21, 1966, Maritain reiterates and expands on certain concerns he expressed during lectures he gave at the University of Chicago in December, 1949 (subsequently published as Man and the State). Addressing UNESCO, Maritain reiterates his concern for “supranational political authority” and “a real political organization of the world, based on the free consent and the free cooperation of nations and peoples.” In Untrammeled Approaches, and more fully in Man and the State, Maritain presents the ideal fully political world society, freely formed, encompassing multifarious institutions and communities within the global body politic, avoiding the merely governmental solution of World Empire. In 1966 as in 1949, Maritain cautions,
[T]he problem for our time is not to bring into actual existence a world-wide political society, it is rather to work at the distant preparations for this society, by putting into motion the long effort of reason and good will thanks to which this utopia will end up becoming a realizable ideal. The hope of men in a temporal ideal, a dynamic ideal of peace on earth, must be preserved at any cost, even though it may seem utopian at the outset.
As the ideal of “the holy freedom whom grace unites to God” replaces the ideal of sacrum imperium, by way of acknowledging a more profound appreciation of the human person, what might be called the ideal of “the holy community united in peace through the grace of God” may replace the ideal of “holy freedom”; this would be a less dramatic rupture than the emergence of “holy freedom” in the wake of sacrum imperium, by way of acknowledging through events in the second half of the twentieth century a more profound appreciation of the communal and global implications of personhood.
Returning to the theme of mystery indicated in the introduction to this paper, in On the Philosophy of History, Maritain tells us that “we will never have the Kingdom of God within temporal history”; he adamantly asserts, however, that “this is all the more reason why we should strive toward it.” For Maritain, eschatological fulfilment involves the supernatural in a way which places us beyond the temporal pale of history: “the absolutely ultimate end, the final end of history is beyond history. For Christian eschatology, there will be a discontinuity between history, which is in time, and the final state of mankind, which will take place in a world transfigured.” This discontinuity allows Maritain to avoid any brash proclamations concerning the end of history, whether in the line of Karl Marx or Francis Fukuyama.
Furthermore, Maritain argues adamantly that not only is nature elevated within its own order through grace, but it is superelevated to the supernatural Kingdom of God: “I would insist that, given the actual condition of the world—that is, the fact that the world is not in a state of pure nature but is vitally and organically related to the Kingdom of God—the actual natural end of the world is this natural end superelevated.”
Quite simply, Maritain respects the mystery and contends that Christians must never allow complacency. They ought to stand in vigilance, always prepared to detect injustice in the world and struggle against it: “There can be no rest for the Christian as long as justice and love do not hold sway over the lives of men. And since their requirements will never be completely fulfilled within history, the Christian will therefore never have rest within history – and that’s perfectly proper to his condition.”
The Centrality of the Particular
Ethical accountability necessarily involves a plurality. Speaking of the other always intends each and every other. Since humanity comprises a vast plurality within a shared nature it is inappropriate to speak of the other in any generic sense, which would suggest an existentially false representation of what is universal within the human species. Maritain accommodates pluralism and ethical accountability for the other within the context of his Christianity and philosophical approach to the human person. Kinzer accommodates pluralism within the context of his postmissionary Messianic Judaism, which acknowledges ever expanding diversity within the ecclesia of the Gentiles while maintaining union with Judaism through the ecclesia of the circumcised. Whereas Kinzer’s pluralism focuses on the existential ground within Judaism, Maritain’s expansive pluralism focuses on the nature of the human person within a given historical existential context. Maritain concentrates on and expands the expansive inclusion which Kinzer forthrightly grounds, a la Gillet, in communion with the Jewish Messiah; and Kinzer may be buttressing Maritain’s commitment to the particular by completing Maritain’s theological foundation.
For Maritain and Kinzer, the cohesive element throughout historical epochs is the human person encountered as a particular person in a particular place at a particular time.
Rather than a simple meta-narrative in the sense of ideological abstraction establishing itself through imposition, Maritain proposes an overarching narrative spanning an ever expanding horizon of distinct particulars. This is comparable to Kinzer’s acknowledgment of an ever expanding ecclesia ex gentibus. And both are able to do this because their conceptual anchors are placed firmly in the particular in obedience to a hermeneutics of ethical accountability. Maritain’s Christian philosophy extends this throughout the historical epochs, observing the cosmic Christ at work in the world a la Culpepper; in this way, Maritain extends Kinzer’s understandable preoccupation with the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. On the other hand, Kinzer’s focus on a post-missionary Messianic Judaism highlights the theological foundation for Maritain’s personalism by explicitly drawing attention to the fact that from a faith perspective all authentic communion resides in the Jewish Messiah.
Referencing the Bible de Jerusalem concerning Paul’s reflection on the current failure and future attainment of the Jewish recognition of Yeshua as their Messiah, Maritain notes, “since their mise á l’écart [“being set aside”] meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their admission will mean? Nothing less than a resurrection of the dead” (Rom 11:15). In this way Maritain asserts that “being set aside” must be the proper translation, because “rejection” has already been denied by Paul in Romans 11:1–2. Not invoking “rejection,” it is perhaps equally problematic to interpret this “being set aside” as revoking the salvific efficacy of Jewish practice.
Retaining the full integrity of the call, of the covenant not revoked, it may be that Israel’s failure to acknowledge Yeshua as the Messiah, and the visible Church of Christ’s failure to appreciate the abiding salvific significance of God’s chosen people, presents us with the dual-enigma of flawed co-redemptive historical forces. Although Maritain would abjure the notion of a co-redemption embracing Christian and Jewish practice, Henrix’s focus on “salvific communion,” in the broad Catholic sense of God’s healing and transformative power at work in the world, may offer a way to attain a firm theological foundation for Maritain’s personalist vision of inclusion.
This brings us to the central significance of the Incarnation for Maritain, which may accommodate Kinzer’s adherence to the particular as well. Quite simply, Yeshua is a Jew and the cosmic work of the Jewish Messiah focuses on Jerusalem. For Kinzer and Maritain, Jerusalem and the land of Israel remain central, and both acknowledge the inescapable significance of events unfolding since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Here, let a single statement in the later writing of Maritain suffice for Kinzer as well: “The State of Israel, insofar as State, is only a State like the others. But the return of a portion of the Jewish people and its regroupment in the Holy Land (of which the existence of this State is the sign and the guarantee)—this is the reaccomplishment, under our eyes, of the divine promise which is without repentance.”
The Incarnation, however, God becoming a particular human being in a particular place at a particular time, ushers in the profound dignity of every other in every place and time; although Maritain has been criticised for appearing to betray his personalism by neglecting the plight of the Canaanites in the past and of the Palestinians since the emergence of modern Zionism.
Perhaps the full import of Maritain’s personalism can be gained in conjunction with Kinzer’s postmissionary Messianic Judaism. Maritain’s strength lies in his allegiance to ethical accountability through his recognition of a shared human nature and the prevalence of grace, thereby expanding Kinzer’s focus on the failure of inclusion within the Judeo-Christian complex, the overcoming of which can only strengthen the theological foundation of Maritain’s inclusive personalist vision. To denigrate the significance of any particular is a betrayal of the Incarnation: to invoke a universal Christ detached from the actual Yeshua leads invariably to a Gnostic anathema pronounced against the Jew and the Old Testament, the full horror of which we encounter in the Aryan Jesus of the Third Reich. Likewise, theologians who allow for the multiple appearance of Christ in Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, Muhammad, or another, do a disservice not only to the unique gift of Jesus, but to the unique gift of the other as well. To bypass the particular denigrates all.
Appreciation of the particular has been aptly summarized by the eminent Jewish philosopher and rabbi, Emil L. Fackenheim:
If God is ever present in history, this is not a presence-in-general but rather a presence to particular men in particular situations. To be sure, unless it were that of a mere tribal deity, such a presence must have universal implications. These implications, however, are manifest only in the particular; and they make of the men to whom they are manifest, not universalistic philosophers who rise above their situations, but rather witnesses, in, through, and because of their particularity to the nations.
It should be clear that acknowledging the Jewish Messiah and eschewing supersessionism should admonish us to embrace the other and not become an endorsement of apocalyptic hermeneutics, interpreting everything in anticipation of that final awesome battle wherein the “saved” will be separated from the “damned.” Denial of the other is prevalent within incestuous, self-serving ecclesial communities or synagogues, evangelizing and attempting to attain integrity by way of identifying and excluding those who do not belong.
In the Gospel of Matthew, underlining the priority of ethical accountability, Yeshua says:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evil doers.” (Matt 7:21–23)
In line with a hermeneutics of ethical accountability, referencing the Gospel of Matthew, Cosgrove distinguishes between what the Incarnation demands and what a certain ecclesial principle may indicate. He invites us to take a stand:
Consider, for example, how the incarnational principle might compete with other theological principles in our adjudication between contrary interpretations of the Last Judgment in Matthew 25. The incarnational idea that we meet Christ in our neighbor weighs in favor of the interpretation of “the least of these” as any human beings who are in the kinds of extremity signified by nakedness, imprisonment, hunger and thirst, but the ecclesial principle of the church as the body of Christ may incline us to prefer the interpretation that takes “the least of these” as followers of Jesus. Moreover, a community of interpreters that holds evangelism and not social service to be the primary mission of the church has a theological reason for preferring the ecclesial interpretation of the “least of these.” The meaning of Mt. 25:31–46 is ambiguous, with the consequence that Christian readers are co- responsible with scripture for what they take this passage to mean. But only by being explicit about the theological norms that inform our judgments about how to “take” Mt. 25:31–46 can we subject those judgments to the discipline and scrutiny they deserve. We should be ready to state and defend the convictions that lead us to embrace the incarnational interpretation over the ecclesial interpretation or vice versa.
The mystery remains, but as the merger of Kinzer and Maritain informs us, based on a hermeneutics of ethical accountability our Judeo-Christian faith tells us that the mystery will unfold in communion with the Jewish Messiah and in Jerusalem, favoring all who are attentive to the other, and especially to “any human beings who are in the kinds of extremity signified by nakedness, imprisonment, hunger and thirst.”
Yeshua, the font of the ecclesia ex circumcision and the ecclesia ex gentibus, may secure Maritain’s personalism through Kinzer’s post-missionary Messianic Judaism, since any remaining vestige of Christian supersessionism provides for the removal of the particular other as other. We must proclaim that it is the Jewish Messiah who is the Jewish Savior of the world. The coherence of Maritain’s expansive consideration of all within his cohesive framework of nature and grace may rest on Kinzer’s focusing on the relationship between Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and Christianity.
Kinzer detects signs of the “communion in the Messiah” within “the Catholic Church in general, for Catholic Jews in particular, for Messianic Jews, and for the wider Jewish world.” He notes that “At Vatican II the Church affirmed the irrevocable election of the Jewish people, and in the teaching of Pope John Paul II she acknowledged the spiritual riches of Jewish religious life.” And, what is most significant here in relation to the movement toward the eradication of supersessionism, Kinzer notes that “through the reiterated statements of that pope [John Paul II]—and, most strikingly, through his visit to the holy land in the year 2000—the Catholic Church also acknowledged the past sins of her sons and daughters in their dealings with the Jewish people.”
Kinzer remains hopeful yet realistic concerning the interchange between Judaism and Christianity. Continuing his observations concerning the past practice of the Catholic Church, he adds that “one significant element of that past has remained unaddressed. . . . namely, the suppression of distinctive Jewish practice among baptized Jews.” However, he quickly draws attention to further hopeful signs. Kinzer goes on to note the work of Fr. Elias Friedman, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Walter Cardinal Kasper, and his own affiliation with Fr. Antoine Levy and Fr. David Neuhaus in the Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Christ, the Studium Catholicum of Helsinki and the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. Such work, in obedience to the mysterious yet specific promptings of the Messiah, continues the overarching narrative of redemption. In line with Maritain’s inclusive personalism and Kinzer’s insistence on postmissionary Messianic Judaism, the ongoing conversation within the Judeo-Christian matrix must avoid traces of supersessionism, assimilation, domination, or simple dismissal of the other. It may be that as Maritain’s personalism expands Kinzer’s adhesion to the particular as a blueprint for authentic conversation within the human family, Kinzer’s focus on a particular Jew in a particular time and place, Yeshua the Messiah who walked amongst us in the land of Israel then under gentile occupation, offers Maritain’s personalist enterprise a firmer footing on the very ground sustaining all.
Walter Schultz is Auxiliary Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Dominican University College in Ottawa, past president of the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association, and former editor of the association’s journal, Maritain Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Western Religious Thought from McMaster University, and has given courses in religious studies and philosophy at universities in Canada and the United States. His publications are primarily concerned with education and the relevance of Maritain’s thought for contemporary society and politics.
1 See Mark S. Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2005).
2 This mosaic is depicted on the cover of Kinzer’s study of the Second Vatican Council document, Nostra Aetate. It encapsulates the theme of that work. See Mark S. Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate. The Jewish People and the Identity of the Church (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, A Division of Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2015).
3 See Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism.
4 The language of “communion in the Messiah” is taken from the work of Lev Gillet, a Russian Orthodox priest writing in England during the Second World War. Gillet is admired and influential in Kinzer’s work. See Lev Gillet, Foreword Mark S. Kinzer, Communion in the Messiah: Studies in the Relationship between Judaism and Christianity (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999).
5 Maritain professes his allegiance to the Angelic Doctor (the title given to the thirteenth century divine, Thomas Aquinas, by the Roman Catholic Church) with such rigor that he rejects the appellation, Neo-Thomist, and is famous for summing up his allegiance to Aquinas with the simple statement: “Vae mihi, si non Thomistizavero” (Woe to me if I do not Thomisticize). In Jacques Maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas: Angel of the Schools, trans. J. F. Scanlan (London: Sheed & Ward, 1946), viii.
6 See Jean-Luc Barré, Jacques and Raïssa Maritain: Beggars for Heaven, trans. Bernard E. Doering (Notre Dame: The University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), 116–19.
7 See Bernard Doering, “The Origin and Development of Maritain’s Idea of the Chosen People,” in Jacques Maritain and the Jews, ed. Robert Royal (Notre Dame: American Maritain Association, University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 17–35.
8 Jacques Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” in Redeeming the Time, trans. Harry Lorin Binsse (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1943, Reprinted 1946), 126.
9 See Barré, Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, 389–99 and 419–29.
10 Robert Royal, “A Tale of Two Peoples: An Introduction,” in Jacques Maritain and the Jews, 2. Royal references Bernard Doering’s “The Jewish Question,” in Jacques Maritain and the French Catholic Intellectuals (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), 126–67.
11 The term “hermeneutics of ethical accountability” as employed by R. Alan Culpepper and Charles H. Cosgrove in works cited in this paper.
12 Knowledge by connaturality is foundational in Maritain’s interpretation and application of Thomistic thought. Involving the intellect and will in the apprehension of and desire for reality, knowledge by connaturality, in itself non-conceptual, is the preconceptual stage on which our concepts operate and allow us to speak of being: “In this knowledge through union or inclination, connaturality or congeniality, the intellect is at play not alone, but together with affective inclinations and the dispositions of the will, and is guided and directed by them. It is not rational knowledge, knowledge through the conceptual, logical and discursive exercise of Reason. But it is really and genuinely knowledge, though obscure and perhaps incapable of giving account of itself, or of being translated into words.” Jacques Maritain, Natural Law: Reflections on Theory and Practice, ed. and introduction by William Sweet (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 2001), 15.
13 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 130.
14 Michael Novak, “Maritain and the Jews,” in Jacques Maritain and the Jews, 134.
15 See Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 27–47 and 125–29.
16 See R. Allan Culpepper, The Gospel and Letters of John (Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1998), especially 287–305.
17 See Jeffrey L. Staley, “Choosing between Twos: Apocalyptic Hermeneutics in Science Fiction, the Radical Right and Recent Historical Jesus Scholarship,” in The Meanings We Choose: Hermeneutical Ethics, Indeterminacy and the Conflict of Interpretations, ed. Charles H. Cosgrove (London, New York: T & T Clark International, 2004), 179–200.
18 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 148.
19 See Charles H. Cosgrove, “Toward a Postmodern Hermeneutica Sacra: Guiding Considerations in Choosing between Competing Plausible Interpretations of Scripture,” in The Meanings We Choose, 39–61.
20 Culpepper, The Gospel and Letters of John, 305.
21 See Jacques Maritain, On the Church of Christ: The Person of the Church and Her Personnel, trans. Joseph W. Evans (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973), 93–134.
22 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 129.
23 See Jacques Maritain, “The Immanent Dialectic of the First Act of Freedom,” in The Range of Reason (London: Geoffrey Bles Ltd., 1953), 66–85.
24 See Jacques Maritain, “The Natural Mystical Experience and the Void,” in Redeeming the Time, 225–55; On the Church of Christ, 100, 96, and note 11 on 260; and see especially Distinguish to Unite or the Degrees of Knowledge, trans. from the fourth French edition under the supervision of Gerald B. Phelan, The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, Volume 7, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2011), 7, 290–95.
25 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 172–73.
26 See Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 119–20.
27 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 120–21.
28 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 136.
29 See Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 138–39.
30 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 139.
31 See John Hellman, “The Jews in the ‘New Middle Ages’: Jacques Maritain’s Anti-Semitism in Its Times,” in Jacques Maritain and the Jews, ed. Robert Royal, 89–103.
32 Hellman, “The Jews in the ‘New Middle Ages,” 102.
33 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 135–36.
34 See Doering, Jacques Maritain and the French Catholic Intellectuals, 146–47.
35 Italics original. Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 144.
36 See Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 34.
37 See Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 34–35.
38 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 34.
39 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 35.
40 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 36.
41 See Mark S. Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen: The Resurrected Messiah, the Jewish People, and the Land of Promise (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2018), 168–69.
42 Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, 169.
43 See Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 34–35.
44 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 126.
45 Mark S. Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish People and the Identity of the Church (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015), 172–73.
46 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 283.
47 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 132.
48 Gillet, Communion in the Messiah, 157, see also, Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 280.
49 See Hans Hermann Henrix, “The Son of God became Human as a Jew: Implications of the Jewishness of Jesus for Christology,” in Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships, ed. Philip A. Cunningham et al (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), 114–43. Quoted in Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 165–66, and see 1–24 for the context involving Pope Benedict XVI and Saint Pope Paul II.
50 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 166.
51 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 152.
52 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 152.
53 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 152–53.
54 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 153.
55 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 161.
56 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 161.
57 Richard Francis Crane offers an informative insight: “A prominent historian of antisemitism once asked me if I thought Maritain was a supersessionist; I replied that he worked hard not to be one. My interlocutor did not press the issue, but I suspect that the inevitable rebuttal from some scholars would run as follows: Maritain did not work hard enough.” Furthermore, Crane notes that the mature Maritain “never equated the Synagogue with the Church, even if he analogized them. He saw Jews as incipient Christians, not necessarily in a worldly sense, but in a proleptic sense—eschatologically deferred.” Passion of Israel: Jacques Maritain, Catholic Conscience, and the Holocaust (Scranton and London: University of Scranton Press, 2010), 137.
58 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 160–61.
59 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 161.
60 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 161.
61 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 168–69.
62 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 178.
63 Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, 224.
64 For Maritain, totalitarianism is the other side of the same solipsistic coin which depicts atomistic individualism, neither side acknowledging the unique human person in organic community and rational society.
65 We see this in Maritain’s acknowledgement of the progressive unfolding of natural law. See Maritain, Natural Law, 32–38.
66 See Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, The Situation of Poetry: Four Essays on the Relations between Poetry, Mysticism, Magic, and Knowledge, trans. Marshall Suther (New York: Philosophical Library, 1955), 65–67; and Maritain, “The Natural Mystical Experience and the Void,” 225–33. Also, for other enumerations of the three types of affective connaturality see Maritain, Existence and the Existent, English Version by Lewis Galantiere and Gerald B. Phelan (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Publishers, 1975), 70–71; and “On Knowledge through Connaturality,” in The Range of Reason, 22–29.
67 Maritain, Natural Law, 15–16.
68 Artistic connaturality engenders knowledge of the self and things other than the self, and if we concentrate on this non-conceptual awareness apart from the creative surge toward the production of a work of art, we have something similar to knowledge by intersubjective, affective connaturality. And revelation itself, through the super-analogy of faith, offers us the self’s love for others as an image of God’s love for us. In the love between father and son, husband and wife, shepherd and flock, we experience something like the supra-natural, affective connaturality which is the experience of love between God and self. See Joseph J. Sikora, S.J., The Christian Intellect and the Mystery of Being: Reflections of a Maritain Thomist (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), especially 56–90. For an explanation of the super-analogy of faith, see Maritain, The Degrees of Knowledge, 256–59, and 298–301.
69 For a brief appreciation and critique of Derrida’s respect for the other, see Walter James Schultz, “Sanctity and the Scientist,” Études maritainiennes-Maritain Studies, XVIII (2002), 74–90.
70 Jacques Maritain, Man and the State, Charles R. Walgreen Foundation Lectures (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1966), 209.
71 Maritain, Man and the State, 209.
72 Maritain, Man and the State, 209
73 Maritain, Man and the State, 209 and see 206.
74 See Maritain, Man and the State, 1–27.
75 Maritain, Man and the State, 111.
76 Maritain has been criticized for his notion of a shared “practical secular faith.” For a brief description of the context of the concern see Michael Moreland, “Jacques Maritain, Thomism and the Liberal-Communitarian Debate,” in The Failure of Modernism: The Cartesian Legacy and Contemporary Pluralism, ed. Brenden Sweetman (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press; 1999), 141–54. The contention in this paper it is that Maritain’s notion of a shared “practical secular faith” is consistent with his understanding of human nature, acknowledging the centrality of the unique human person in relationship with the other through community and rational society, without neglecting the supernatural influx of grace.
77 See Jacques Maritain, Integral Humanism: Temporal and Spiritual Problems of a New Christendom, trans. Joseph W. Evans (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973), 127–28. For prior treatment of the theme raised in this section see Walter Schultz, “Toward a Grammar of Liberation: Exploring the Contours of Salvation in the Twenty-First Century,” in The Things that Matter: Essays Inspired by the Later Work of Jacques Maritain, ed. Heidi M. Giebel, American Maritain Association (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018), 255–73.
78 See Maritain, Integral Humanism, 143–53.
79 See Jacques Maritain, Christianity and Democracy and The Rights of Man and Natural Law, trans. Doris C. Anson (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011), 25–46.
80 Maritain, Integral Humanism, 163.
81 See Maritain, Christianity and Democracy, especially 60–62. For an informative treatment of Maritain’s influence on the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Rights, see Andrew Woodcock, “Jacques Maritain, Natural Law and the Universal Declaration of Rights,” Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d’histoire du droit international, vol. 8, Issue 2, 2006, 245–66. Also see Maritain, Man and the State, 76–80.
82 See Maritain, Man and the State, 103–07.
83 See Maritain’s introduction to Alfred Mendizabal, The Martyrdom of Spain: Origins of a Civil War, trans. Charles Hope Lumley (London: Geoffrey Bles; The Centenary Press, 1938), 1–48; and Integral Humanism, 277.
84 See Maritain, Christianity and Democracy, and Man and the State, 76–107.
85 See Jacques Maritain, Three Reformers: Luther – Descartes – Rousseau (London: Sheed & Ward, 1928), 93–164; Scholasticism and Politics, trans. Mortimer J. Adler (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1954), 74–75; and Man and the State, 43–49.
86 See Maritain, Christianity and Democracy, 65–141.
87 See Jacques Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, Volume 20, trans. Bernard Doering (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), 199–204.
88 See Maritain, Man and the State.
89 Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 202.
90 See Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches and Maritain, Man and the State, 188–216.
91 Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 202.
92 Jacques Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, ed. Joseph W. Evans (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1957), 155.
93 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 138.
94 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 131. For the full context see 119–63.
95 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 155.
96 See Maritain, On the Church of Christ, note 17 on 271.
97 This is the theme behind Kinzer’s Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen.
98 See Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, especially 240–92; and Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 170–71.
99 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 170.
100 See Crane, Passion of Israel, 125–26.
101 See Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008).
102 The multifarious manifestation of Christ may be detected in the shift from Christology to Christophany in the thought of Raymond Panikar, and perhaps in the writings of Erich Voegelin. See L. Anthony Savari Raj, “Inculturation or Interculturation?: Towards a New Indian Christian Identity in a Pluralistic Society,” in Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions, Vol. 1, 2002, 27–40, especially 36–37; Michael P. Morrissey, Consciousness and Transcendence: The Theology of Erich Voegelin (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 12–14, 142–45, and 235–37; and Walter J. Schultz, “Freedom for Friendship: Maritain’s Christian Personalist Perspective on Global Democracy and the New World Order,” Études maritainiennes-Maritain Studies, XXI (2005), 26–28.
103 Emil L. Fackenheim, God’s Presence in History: Jewish Affirmations and Philosophical Reflections (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970), 8; and Schultz, “Freedom for Friendship,” 27–28.
104 Cosgrove, “Toward a Postmodern Hermeneutical Sacra,” 45–46.
105 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 178.
106 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 179.
107 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 179.
108 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 179
109 See Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 178–83.