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Supersessionism

3,672 bytes added, 02:55, August 31, 2013
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The term may cause confusion because supersession can refer to a new thing adding onto an older thing that still remains (eg. adding a new provision onto a law), or to an older thing being destroyed in every sense (eg. a law that has been canceled).
 
=="Supersessionism" as an ideology==
 
Supersessionism makes supersession into an ideology, or "ism". This ideology is very rarely mentioned by Orthodox writers. Yet it is increasingly discussed by Protestant ones, whose definitions of it vary wildly from the simple belief that Christianity brought "something better" into the world<ref>Rabbi David Novak, The Covenant in Rabbinic Thought, printed in Eugene Korn, Two Faiths, One Covenant p.67</ref> to one where the Church's fulfillment of Israel's role supposedly condemns the Jews as a racial group.<ref>One Covenant of Grace, Committee on Church Doctrine Recommendation No. 2, Presbyterian Church of Canada, 2011. http://presbyterian.ca/wp-content/uploads/referrals_2011_one_covenant_of_grace_study_document_re_engagement_with_jewish_people.pdf</ref>
 
===Orthodox Approval of "Supersessionism"===
In 2012 Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Dr Nicolas Abou-Mrad of the St. John of Damascus Theology Institute, and Fr. Demetrios Tonias participated in an ecumenical consultation on Christianity and Judaism, which concluded that "supersession" carries a proper descriptive meaning in the Orthodox tradition, but the term is "problematic when negatively applied vis-à-vis Judaism."<ref>Rev. Dr Shanta Premawardhana, “A Report of the Intra-Christian Consultation on Christian Self-Understanding in Relation to Judaism”, Current Dialogue, Dec. 2012, p. 12. http://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/current-dialogue-magazine/dialogue-53</ref>
 
Fr. Tonias of Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Church portrayed these words of Justin Martyr as "supersessionism":
:As therefore from the one man Jacob, who was surnamed Israel, all your nation has been called Jacob and Israel, we from Christ, who begat us unto God, like Jacob, and Israel, and Judah, and Joseph, and David, are called and are the true sons of God, and keep the commandments of Christ.<ref>Fr. Demetrios Tonias, “Sharing the Inheritance: An Orthodox Christian View of the Church as New Israel in the Context of the Contemporary Jewish-Christian Dialogue”, Current Dialogue, Dec. 2012, p.51.</ref>
 
Fr. Tonias wrote that St. Gregory of Nyssa would be considered "supersessionist" because he depicted “Moses and other figures of the Jewish Bible as kinsmen, fellow members of Israel, after which the members of the New Covenant should pattern their lives.”<ref>Id.</ref> Fr. Tonias said that the New Testament contained supersessionist language (citing Acts 15:14, 1 Pet. 2:10). He added that "the more refined" discussions in the early church on the topic came from polemics, but that Orthodoxy cannot easily dismiss the views of Justin Martyr and Melito of Sardis.<ref>Id.</ref>
 
===Orthodox Opposition to Supersessionism===
 
In the "Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity", Prof. Eugene Pentiuc of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, wrote that supersessionism was discernible in Biblical passages<ref>Cited are: Mat 21:33-46, Gal 3:24-5, Rom 10:4</ref>, and that it was especially pronounced in writings about Old Testament Typology. He wrote that "many early Christian writings" portray the New Testament and the Church as superseding the Old Testament and what he calls the "old Israel".<ref>Prof. Eugene Pentiuc, “Judaism, Orthodoxy and”, cited in Fr. John McGuckin The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, p. 356.</ref> The entry claims that supersessionism fueled "anti-Jewish sentiment" and devalued the Old Testament, but that ''"the church as a whole has [kept] the two Testaments in a dialectical unity, in the main avoiding... supersessionism as [a] danger."''<ref>Id.</ref>
==Notes==
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