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Authors: James Carroll

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Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews

Constantine's Sword

The Church and the Jews

James Carroll

Table of Contents

Title Page

Table of Contents

...

Copyright

Dedications

Epigraph

CONTENTS

PART ONE

1. Sign of Folly

2. Stumbling Block to Jews

3. The Journey

4. My Mother's Clock

5. Passion Play

6. My Rabbi

7. Between Past and Future

PART TWO

8. My Great-Uncle

9. Jesus, a Jew?

10. The Threshold Stone

11. Destroy This Temple

12. The Healing Circle

13. Paul, the Martyr of Shalom

14. Parting of the Ways

15. The Lachrymose Tradition: A Cautionary Note

PART THREE

16. The Heart of This Story Is a Place

17. The Story of Constantine

18. The Cross and the Religious Imagination

19. The Vision of Constantine

20. The True Cross

21. Augustine Trembling

22. The Seamless Robe

23. The Danger of Ambivalence

PART FOUR

24. The War of the Cross

25. The Incident in Trier

26. Mainz Anonymous

27. The Blood Libel

28. Anselm: Why God Became Man

29. Abelard and Héloïse

30. Thomas Aquinas: Reason Against the Jews

PART FIVE

31. One Road

32. My Inquisition

33. Convivencia to Reconquista

34. Convert-Making: The Failure of Success

35. Expulsion in 1492

36. The Roman Ghetto

37. The Religious Response of the Jews

38. Shema Yisrael!

PART SIX

39. Karl Marx, Second Son of Trier

40. Spinoza: From Rabbis to Revolution

41. Voltaire and the False Promise of Emancipation

42. Jew as Revolutionary, Jew as Financier

43. Revolution in Rome: The Pope's Jews

44. Alfred Dreyfus and La Croix

45. The Uses of Antisemitism

46. Lucie and Madeleine

PART SEVEN

47. From Christian Anti-Judaism to Eliminationist Antisemitism

48. Setting a Standard: The Church Against Bismarck

49. Eugenio Pacelli and the Surrender of German Catholicism

50. The Seamless Robe in 1933

51. Maria Laach and Reichstheologie

52. Pius XII: Last Days of the Roman Ghetto

53. Edith Stein and Catholic Memory

PART EIGHT

54. The Broad Relevance of Catholic Reform

55. Agenda for a New Reformation

56. Agenda Item 1: Anti-Judaism in the New Testament

57. Agenda Item 2: The Church and Power

58. Agenda Item 3: A New Christology

59. Agenda Item 4: The Holiness of Democracy

60. Agenda Item 5: Repentance

Epilogue: The Faith of a Catholic

...

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

CHRONOLOGY

NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Index

A Mariner Book
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
BOSTON • NEW YORK

First Mariner Books edition 2002

Copyright © 2001 by James Carroll
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For information about permission to reproduce selections from
this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Company,
215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.

Visit our Web site:
www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com
.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Carroll, James, date.
Constantine's sword : the church and the Jews : a
history / James Carroll.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
0-395-77927-8
ISBN
0-618-21908-0 (pbk.)
1. Christianity and antisemitism—History. 2. Catholic
Church—Relations—Judaism. 3. Judaism—Relations—
Catholic Church. I. Title.
BM
535.
C
37 2001
26l.0'6'09—dc21 00-061329

Printed in the United States of America

Book design by Robert Overholtzer

QUM
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Portions of this book appeared, in different form, in
The New Yorker
and
The Atlantic Monthly.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following authors and publishers for kind permission to
reproduce material in this book:
The Confessions
by Saint Augustine. Translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin.
Copyright © 1961 by R. S. Pine-Coffin. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The City of God
by
Saint Augustine. Translated by Henry Bettenson. Copyright O 1972 by Henry Bettenson. Reprinted by
permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
Heavenly Powers
by Neil Asher Silberman. Copyright © 1998 by Neil
Asher Silberman. Reprinted by permission of Grosset and Dunlap (Putnam).
Inquisition and Society in
Spam
by Henry Kamen. Reprinted by permission of Weidenfeld 8c Nicolson.
Marpingen
by David
Blackbourn. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Toward a Sew Council of Florence
by Nicolaus of Cusa.
Translated by William F. Wertz, Ir. Reprinted by permission of the Schiller Institute, Inc.
Helena Augusta
by Ian Willem Drijvers. Reprinted with the kind permission of C Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden. The
Netherlands.
The Jews and the Crusades
by Shlomo Eidelberg. Reprinted by permission of the author and
the University of Wisconsin Press.
Ideology and Experience
by Stephen Wilson. Reprinted by permission of
the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Oxford, U.K.
A Social and Religious History of the Jews
by Salo
Wittmayer Baron. Copyright © 1969 Columbia University Press. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
European Jewry and the First Crusade
by Robert Chazen. Copyright © 1987 The Regents of the University of
California. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Dreyfus: A Family Affair
by Michael Bums. Reprinted
by permission of the author.
Héloise and Abelard
by Étienne Gilson. Copyright 1950, C 1978 by the Pontifical
Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. Reprinted by permission of the copyright owner.
Vatican
Diplomacy and the Jews During the Holocaust, 1939–1943
by John F. Morley. Reprinted by permission of Ktav
Publishing House, Inc.

FOR BILL AND MARGARET
AND FOR DON
For it is the bitter grief of theology and its blessed task, too, always to have to seek (because it does not clearly have present to it at the time) what in a true sense—in its historical memory—it has always known ... always providing that one has the courage to ask questions, to be dissatisfied, to think with the mind and heart one actually has, and not with the mind and heart one is supposed to have.
—Karl Rahner, S.J.

CONTENTS

PART ONE

The Cross at Auschwitz

1. Sign of Folly
[>]

2. Stumbling Block to Jews
[>]

3. The Journey
[>]

4. My Mother's Clock
[>]

5. Passion Play
[>]

6. My Rabbi
[>]

7. Between Past and Future
[>]

PART TWO

New Testament Origins of Jew Hatred

8. My Great-Uncle
[>]

9. Jesus, a Jew?
[>]

10. The Threshold Stone
[>]

11. Destroy This Temple
[>]

12. The Healing Circle
[>]

13. Paul, the Martyr of Shalom
[>]

14. Parting of the Ways
[>]

15. The Lachrymose Tradition: A Cautionary Note
[>]

PART THREE

Constantine, Augustine, and the Jews

16. The Heart of This Story Is a Place
[>]

17. The Story of Constantine
[>]

18. The Cross and the Religious Imagination
[>]

19. The Vision of Constantine
[>]

20. The True Cross
[>]

21. Augustine Trembling
[>]

22. The Seamless Robe
[>]

23. The Danger of Ambivalence
[>]

PART FOUR

From Crusades to Conversionism

24. The War of the Cross
[>]

25. The Incident in Trier
[>]

26. Mainz Anonymous
[>]

27. The Blood Libel
[>]

28. Anselm: Why God Became Man
[>]

29. Abelard and Héloïse
[>]

30. Thomas Aquinas: Reason Against the Jews
[>]

PART FIVE

The Inquisition: Enter Racism

31. One Road
[>]

32. My Inquisition
[>]

33. 
Convivencia
to
Reconquista
[>]

34. Convert-Making: The Failure of Success
[>]

35. Expulsion in 1492
[>]

36. The Roman Ghetto
[>]

37. The Religious Response of the Jews
[>]

38. Shema Yisrael!
[>]

PART SIX

Emancipation, Revolution, and a New Fear of Jews

39. Karl Marx, Second Son of Trier
[>]

40. Spinoza: From Rabbis to Revolution
[>]

41. Voltaire and the False Promise of Emancipation
[>]

42. Jew as Revolutionary, Jew as Financier
[>]

43. Revolution in Rome: The Pope's Jews
[>]

44. Alfred Dreyfus and
La Croix
[>]

45. The Uses of Antisemitism
[>]

46. Lucie and Madeleine
[>]

PART SEVEN

The Church and Hitler

47. From Christian Anti-Judaism to Eliminationist Antisemitism
[>]

48. Setting a Standard: The Church Against Bismarck
[>]

49. Eugenio Pacelli and the Surrender of German Catholicism
[>]

50. The Seamless Robe in 1933
[>]

51. Maria Laach and
Reichstheologie
[>]

52. Pius XII: Last Days of the Roman Ghetto
[>]

53. Edith Stein and Catholic Memory
[>]

PART EIGHT

A Call for Vatican III

54. The Broad Relevance of Catholic Reform
[>]

55. Agenda for a New Reformation
[>]

56. Agenda Item 1: Anti-Judaism in the New Testament
[>]

57. Agenda Item 2: The Church and Power
[>]

58. Agenda Item 3: A New Christology
[>]

59. Agenda Item 4: The Holiness of Democracy
[>]

60. Agenda Item 5: Repentance
[>]

Epilogue: The Faith of a Catholic
[>]

Acknowledgments
[>]

Chronology
[>]

Notes
[>]

Bibliography
[>]

Index
[>]

PART ONE

THE CROSS AT AUSCHWITZ

1. Sign of Folly

T
HE CROSS IS MADE
of stout beams, an intersection of railroad ties. It stands in a field of weeds that slopes down from the road. The field is abutted on one side by the old theater, where gas canisters were stored, also looted gold; where, much later, Carmelite nuns accomplished cloistered works of expiation, sparking fury; and where, now, a municipal archive is housed. On another side, the field runs up against the brick wall, the eastern limit of the main camp.

At more than twenty feet, the cross nearly matches the height of the wall, although not the wall's rusted thistle of barbed wire. Immediately beyond are the camp barracks, the peaked roofs visible against the gray morning sky. The nearest building, close enough to hit with a stone thrown from the foot of the cross, is Barracks 13, also known as the death bunker or the starvation bunker. In one of its cells the Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe was martyred. He is now a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Kolbe is the reason for this cross.

In 1979, Karol Wojtyla came home to nearby Krakow as Pope John Paul II. He celebrated Mass in an open field for a million of his countrymen, and on the makeshift altar this same cross had been mounted—hence its size, large enough to prompt obeisance from the farthest member of the throng. Visiting the death camp, the pope prayed for and to Father Kolbe, who had voluntarily taken the place of a fellow inmate in the death bunker. The pope prayed for and to Edith Stein, the convert who had also died in the camp, and whom he would declare a Catholic saint in 1998. She was a Carmelite nun known as Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, but the Nazis murdered her for being a Jew. In his sermon that day, the pope called Auschwitz the "Golgotha of the modern world."
1
As he had at other times, John Paul II expressed the wish that a place of prayer and penance could be built at the site of the death camp to honor the Catholic martyrs and to atone for the murders: at Auschwitz and its subcamp, Birkenau, the Nazis killed perhaps as many as a quarter of a million non-Jewish Poles and something like a million and a half Jews. Fulfilling the pontiff's hope, a group of Carmelite nuns moved into the old theater in the autumn of 1984. They intended especially to offer prayers in memory of their sister Teresa Benedicta. The mother superior of this group was herself named Teresa.
2

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