Sixty years after it ended, the Holocaust continues to leave survivors and their descendants, as well as historians, philosophers, and theologians, pondering the enormity of that event. This book explores how inquiry about the Holocaust challenges understanding, especially its religious and ethical dimensions.
Debates about God's relationship to evil are ancient, but the Holocaust complicated them in ways never before imagined. Its massive destruction left Jews and Christians searching among the ashes to determine what, if anything, could repair the damage done to tradition and to theology.
Since the end of the Holocaust, Jews and Christians have increasingly sought to know how or even whether theological analysis and reflection can aid in comprehending its aftermath. Specifically, Jews and Christians, individually and collectively, find themselves more and more in the position of needing either to rethink theodicy -- typically understood as the vindication of divine justice in the face of evil -- or to abolish the concept altogether.
Writing in a format that creates the feel of dialogue, the contributors to Fire in the Ashes confront these and other difficult questions about God and evil after the Holocaust. This book -- created out of shared concerns and a desire to investigate differences and disagreements between religious traditions and philosophical perspectives -- represents an effort to advance meaningful conversation between Jews and Christians and to encourage others to participate in similar inter- and intrafaith inquiries.
The contributors to Fire in the Ashes are members of the Pastora Goldner Holocaust Symposium. Led since its founding in 1996 by Leonard Grob and Henry F. Knight, the symposium's Holocaust and genocide scholars -- a group that is interfaith, international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational -- meet biennially in Oxfordshire, England.