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Harsh, Mild or Gone For Good?

Gavin D’Costa


This article contains critically constructive reflections on the document, ‘“The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of “Nostra Aetate” (no. 4)’. The author argues that a certain type of supersessionism (mild, as opposed to harsh, using categories employed by Levering and Novak) is inevitable and even necessary to Christian discourse. The document fails to define different types of supersessionism and their various relationships to the concept of fulfilment. The latter concept is advocated by the document. The author also raises questions about the justification of the document’s statements on mission, suggesting a theological approach by which these teachings could be better understood. However, this new understanding raises even more difficulties for Catholics and Jews than it perhaps resolves.