Michael Wyschogrod has died. He was an Orthodox Jew and a theologian who gladly entered into dialogue with Christian theologians. After Kendall Soulen’s writings introduced me to Wyschogrod, I read The Body of Faith. I am sure I didn’t understand it all, but it left me smiling at the notion of a Barthian Jew.
Here is a an article of appreciation by David P. Goldman. This paragraph captures what seems the most important concept:
Unlike Christian theologians, who characterize Judaic particularism in contrast to Christian universalism, Wyschogrod asserted that God’s first love for Israel did not exclude love for all humankind. On the contrary, “When we grasp that the election of Israel flows from the fatherhood that extends to all created in God’s image, we find ourselves tied to all men in brotherhood, as Joseph, favored by his human father, ultimately found himself tied to his brothers. And when man contemplates this mystery, that the Eternal One, the creator of heaven and earth, chose to become the father of his creatures instead of remaining self-sufficient unto himself, as is the Absolute of the philosophers, there wells up in man that praise that has become so rare yet remains so natural.”