More than fifty years after it ended, the Holocaust continues to leave survivors and their descendants, as well as historians, philosophers, and theologians, searching for words to convey the enormity of that event. Efforts to express its realities and its impact on successive generations often stretch language to the breaking point--or to the point of silence. Words whose meaning was contested before the Holocaust prove even more fragile in its wake.
David Patterson and John K. Roth identify three such "after-words": forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice. These words, though forever altered by the Holocaust, are still spoken and heard. But how should the concepts they represent be understood? How can their integrity be restored within the framework of current philosophical and, especially, religious traditions? Writing in a format that creates the feel of dialogue, the nine contributors to After-Words tackle these and other difficult questions about the nature of memory and forgiveness after the Holocaust to encourage others to participate in similar inter- and intrafaith inquiries.
The contributors to After-Words are members of the Pastora Goldner Holocaust Symposium. Led since its founding in 1996 by Leonard Grob and Henry Knight, the symposium's Holocaust and genocide scholars--a group that is interfaith, international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational--meet biennially in Oxfordshire, England.
David Patterson is Bornblum Chair in Judaic Studies, University of Memphis. John K. Roth is Edward J. Sexton Professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Claremont McKenna College. They are both editors of and contributors to After-Words. The other contributors are Rachel N. Baum, Britta Frede-Wenger, Leonard Grob, Peter J. Haas, Henry F. Knight, Juergen Manemann, and Didier Pollefeyt.
Prologue: "Did you say: after? Meaning what?"--David Patterson and John K. Roth Part One: Forgiveness1/ Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Jewish Memory after Auschwitz--Peter J. HaasIn Response:--Rachel N. Baum--Leonard Grob--Peter J. Haas2/ The Face of Forgiveness in a Post-Holocaust World--Henry F. KnightIn Response:--Britta Frede-Wenger--David Patterson--Henry F. Knight3/ Forgiveness after the Holocaust--Didier PollefeytIn Response:--Peter J. Haas--Juergen Manemann--Didier Pollefeyt Part Two: Reconciliation4/ Useless Experience: Its Significance for Reconciliation after Auschwitz--John K. RothIn Response:--Rachel N. Baum--Didier Pollefeyt--John K. Roth5/ Anthropological Remarks on Reconciliation after Auschwitz--Britta Frede-WengerIn Response: --Juergen Manemann--Didier Pollefeyt--Britta Frede-Wenger6/ Struggles for Recognition in an Era of Globalization: The Necessity of a Theology of Reconciliation from a Political-Theological Perspective after Auschwitz--Juergen ManemannIn Response:--Peter J. Haas--David Patterson--Juergen Manemann Part Three: Justice7/ G-d, World, Humanity: Jewish Reflections on Justice after Auschwitz--David PattersonIn Response:--Britta Frede-Wenger--John K. Roth--David Patterson8/ The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Just Reconciliation in the Shadows of the Holocaust--Leonard GrobIn Response:--Henry F. Knight--John K. Roth--Leonard Grob9/ The Post-Holocaust Jewish Heart--Rachel N. BaumIn Response:--Leonard Grob--Henry F. Knight--Rachel N. Baum Postscript: An After That is Yet to Be--David Patterson and John K. Roth BibliographyAbout the Editors and ContributorsIndex