By Dominic Rubin
Holy Russia, Sacred Israel examines how Russian spiritual thinkers, either Jewish and Christian, conceived of Judaism, Jewry and the 'Old testomony' philosophically, theologically and in my view at a time while the Messianic point in Russian cognizance used to be being motivated via occasions starting from the pogroms of the Eighteen Eighties, via Revolutions and global Wars, to exile in Western Europe. An try is made to find the bounds among the Jewish and Christian, Russian and Western, Gnostic-pagan and Orthodox parts in Russian proposal during this interval. the writer displays in my opinion on how the history of those thinkers - little analyzed or translated within the West - can assist Orthodox (and different) Christians reply to Judaism (including 'Messianic Judaism'), Zionism, and Christian anti-Semitism at the present time.
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Additional resources for Holy Russia, Sacred Israel: Jewish-Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought
Soloviev states in his article about “The New Testament Israel” that the full Christian truth is contained in the Orthodox church. He also agrees with the critics that Rabinowitz’s thirteen principles of Jewish-Christian faith (modeled as replacements of Maimonides’ principles of the Jewish faith) depart from the full depth of Christian Orthodoxy. To those who see Protestantism in this, however, Soloviev compares the fledgling Jewish-Christian congregation and Protestantism to two trains moving in opposite directions that pass each other by in the same place: the Protestants, having been a part of the body of the Church have moved away from the truth; the Jewish-Christians, having never been a part of the Church, should be seen as moving towards it.
The Talmud has preserved the Jewish nation with the characteristics which made them freely choose and be chosen by God. That they do not choose now to take their national mission to the next level, transcending though not abolishing the national, is ascribed in “The Jews and the Christian Question” to an imbalance in that noble character. But in his essay on the Talmud, Soloviev does not mention this explanation. Rather he attributes Jewish reluctance to fulfill their national vocation once and for all to the poor witness of the Gentile nations – an appropriate emphasis, given that he is responding to anti-Semitic calumny.
And a little later: “All nations are only equal before the Gospel in the sense in which, for instance, in a state all citizens are equal before the law; this does not in the least prevent different grades and kinds of citizens having special rights arising from special duties…thus there is no necessary contradiction between the theocratic ideas of Judaism and Christianity…” In one sense, this constitutes another departure from the general policy of the Russian government since the end of the eighteenth century: Soloviev believes that Judaism and the Jewish people contain many positive characteristics which can guide them in their future development.