Tobias, “Jewish Conscience of the Church”

In January, Palgrave Macmillan will release Jewish Conscience of the Church: Jules Isaac and the Second Vatican Council by Norman C. Tobias (Queen’s College, Ontario). The publisher’s description follows:

jewish-conscienceThis book presents the backstory of how the Catholic Church came to clarify and embrace the role of Israel in salvation history, at the behest of an unlikely personality: Jules Isaac. This embrace put to an end the tradition, more than fifteen centuries old, of anti-Jewish rhetoric that had served as taproot to racial varieties of anti-Semitism.  Prior to Isaac’s thought and activism, this contemptuous tradition had never been denounced in so compelling a manner that the Church was forced to address it. It is a story of loss and triumph, and ultimately, unlikely partnership.

Isaac was a French Jewish historian, author of secondary-level history manuals (le Malet-Isaac) in the interwar years, and Inspector General of Public Education for France. Emerging from World War II bereft of wife, daughter, and son-in-law, Isaac devoted the remainder of his years to a crusade for scriptural truth and rectification of Christian teaching regarding Jews and Judaism. The centerpiece of his thought is Jésus et Israël, published in France in 1948. Isaac’s crusade culminated in an unpublicized audience with Pope John XXIII, an audience that moved the pope to make a last-minute addition to the Second Vatican Council agenda that set in motion a train of events leading to a revolution in Catholic teaching about Jews.

Kersten, “A History of Islam in Indonesia”

In January, Edinburgh University Press will release A History of Islam in Indonesia: Unity in Diversity by Carool Kersten (King’s College, London). The publisher’s description follows:

a-history-of-islam-in-indonesiaExplores the history of Islam in the largest Muslim nation state in the world

Located on the eastern periphery of the historical Muslim world, as a political entity Indonesia is barely a century old. Yet with close to a quarter of a billion followers of Islam it is now the largest and most populous Muslim country in the world. As the greatest political power in Southeast Asia, and a growing player on the world scene, Indonesia presents itself as a bridge country between Asia, the wider Muslim world and the West.

In this survey Carool Kersten presents the Islamisation of Indonesia from the first evidence of the acceptance of Islam by indigenous peoples in the late thirteenth century until the present day. He provides comprehensive insight into the different roles played by Islam in Indonesia throughout history, including the importance of Indian Ocean networks for connecting Indonesians with the wider Islamic world, the religion’s role as a means of resistance and tool for nation building, and postcolonial attempts to forge an ‘Indonesian Islam’.