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Gianfranco Brunelli

The Great Jubilee of the year 2000, with which the Catholic Church

symbolically celebrated the two thousandth anniversary of the

birth of Christ, began on 24 December 1999 and ended on 6 January

2001. An ailing but steady Pope, nearly hidden under a glittering,

iridescent cloak, and watched by thousands of millions the

world over, opened the Holy Door of the Basilica of Saint Peter on

Christmas Eve 1999 to welcome the Christian nation into the new

century and the new millennium. Satisfied and moved, he closed

the Holy Door on the day of Epiphany 2001.

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Education within Our Faith Communities

What Do We Learn and What Do We Teach about Ourselves and about Others?

Laura Janner-Klausner

I do not think that I had the best introduction to interfaith dialogue. I studied Christianity at school and at university. I was overprotected at the first and overexposed at the second. At school, our wonderful Catholic teacher avoided the so called ‘difficult’ chapters in the Gospels so as to protect her five students (three of whom were Jewish) – or maybe herself. On the other hand, my university lecturers taught the ‘Old Testament’ with assertions such as ‘Judaism is morally invalid’. These experiences strengthened in me a destructive understanding of the religious world as consisting of only Christians (the Faculty was then a Protestant-only zone) and Jews (as Christ-killers). You will not be surprised to know that after receiving my Divinity degree, I did not go anywhere near Christian studies for another thirteen years!

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Prophesying Daughters

Testimony, Censorship, and Literacy among Early Quaker Women

Judith Rose

In the tumultuous 1640’s amid the barely controlled chaos of the Interregnum, George Fox, the spiritually inclined son of an Leicestershire weaver, wandered up and down the local countryside in search of revelation, disputing with local ministers, debating theology with anyone who would speak with him. Years later, in his autobiographical Journal, Fox described the pivotal moment of his awakening: But as I had forsaken all the priests, so I left the separate preachers also… for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, Oh, then, I heard a voice which said, ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition’, and when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy.

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The 'Empty Tomb' as Metaphor

Finding Comfort in Nothingness

Donna Young

This article considers the ways in which Roman Catholic pilgrims on a tour in the Holy Land reacted to displays of emotion, exposing both the fragility and the strength of a religious community struggling with uncertainties concerning belief and practice. Participants focused on a reading of the biblical gospel that, in its original form, omitted the story of Christ's resurrection. The pilgrims were encouraged to identify themselves with the earliest Christians confronted by an empty tomb and to explore the lessons in Mark's gospel for a community of Christians in crisis. The 'empty tomb' is read here as a metaphor for the 'limits of meaning', found in all practices of interpretation, whether exegetical or anthropological. Attention is focused on how various actors responded to each other and to a place, the Holy Land, which challenges the interpretive skills of most, particularly those encouraged to remain open and respectful of the stories and religious traditions of others.

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Psalms 90–106

Book Four and the Covenant with David

Susan Gillingham

The whole Psalter could be seen as a second Torah, whose five books are witness to the making, dissolution and renewal of the covenant with David. This article looks at Book Four of that story (Psalms 90–106), where the figure of Moses and the traditions of the Exodus are prominent and create an alternative vision to the covenant with David which is under threat (Psalm 89). These seventeen psalms comprise four collections (90–92, 93–100, 101–103, 104–106). By focusing on later Jewish and Christian reception of each psalm, the article shows how Jewish tradition maintains the earlier emphases on Moses and pre-Davidic traditions, whilst Christian tradition interprets them after the time of David, through the person of Christ. However, the article demonstrates that each tradition also recognizes a universal theology throughout Book Four: God as refuge in 90–92, God's cosmic rule in 93–100, God's mercy in suffering in 101–103, and God as Creator and Redeemer in 104–106.

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Angels and Demons

Andrew King

This special issue of Critical Survey stems from a conference at Canterbury Christ Church University in June 2010 that was intended to explore continuities and ruptures in the representation and deployment of angels and demons and related binaries, be they in nineteenth-century print media or seventeenth-century Protestant texts, twenty-first century bestsellers or company PR strategies. From the first it was decided that discussion should not be limited to actual angels and demons, but the more general binaries of good and evil, lucid self and obscure Other. Considerations of the generic processes of demonisation and its opposite were also welcome, as were attempts to think outside such binaries (insofar as such is possible). Was it the case that the undoing of binaries, vital to Cixous’ feminist enterprise and deconstruction generally, was salient today for the various politics of gender, sexuality, ‘race’, class, disability, and place, or had such deconstruction been so co-opted by conservative commercial culture (as was always possible according to Christopher Norris) that alternative strategies were necessary? All these ways of thinking about angels and demons are represented in the essays that follow.

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Pilgrim Voices

Authoring Christian Pilgrimage

Simon Coleman and John Elsner

During the Middle Ages, this story became the biblical model for pilgrimage. Christ himself was perceived to be appearing as pilgrim, and was frequently depicted fulfilling such a role in artistic representations of the journey to Emmaus. Here we have a truly scriptural model for the alignment of pilgrimage with the telling of tales. The narratives at stake are not only the vivid oral accounts of great events that had just occurred, but also the understanding of those stories in relation to older, established and written accounts, such as the scriptures ‘beginning at Moses’. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus, a place about seven miles from Jerusalem, are discussing what is recent history in the narrative of the Gospel but also sacred action from the perspective of a Christian reader – that is, the events of the crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb. When they encounter Jesus, he specifically requests a repetition of this narrative, which he then attempts to correct by grounding what is at this stage (in Luke’s representation) an immediate and oral sketch, in the deep and literary context of ‘all the scriptures’. Only when Jesus blesses and breaks bread – a reference that is both liturgical, in that it is eucharistic, and literary, in that it specifically refers back to the Last Supper in Luke’s own narrative (22: 19–20) – do the disciples evince appropriate recognition of their Lord, which is immediately the spur for more discussion and a return journey. After their encounter and identification of its significance, they waste no time in telling others of their experience.

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Harsh, Mild or Gone For Good?

Gavin D’Costa

Israel because it had not recognised Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, but had been transferred to the Church of Jesus Christ which was now the true “new Israel”, the new chosen people of God. There are many definitions of supersessionism. R

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The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable

Commission for Religious Relationships with the Jews

Henry Wansbrough

is still understood – as a self-curse by the Jews, referring to Jews of all time. To my mind it should be understood as a reference by Matthew to the dreadful horrors of the siege of Jerusalem in the generation after the Passion of Christ. It became

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The Pardoner’s Passing and How It Matters

Gender, Relics and Speech Acts

Alex da Costa

Lordes body they totere Hem thoughte that Jewes rente hym noght ynough. (ll. 472–475) It was a commonplace of medieval sermons that swearing by ‘Goddes precious herte … his nales … the blood of Crist … Goddes armes’ (ll. 651–654) renewed Christ’s wounds