The Shoah - the Hebrew term for Holocaust - has continued to pervade theological thought, religious practice, and the contemporary identity of Judaism. Using the title of Franz Rosenzweig's masterpiece, the Shoah could - and perhaps should - be called the star of irredemption because of the struggling implications of its radical evil. In Auschwitz, God is at stake because the very existence of the Jews is threatened, but the Jewish identity is also at stake because the justice and reliability of God is questioned. The Shoah poses a double problem of caesura and continuum - it is both a break in the continuity of the tradition and continuity inside of the break of modernity. The intersecting of these two dimensions constitutes the basic hermeneutic conflict of the Jewish consciousness at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The Author: Massimo Giuliani is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia). He received his doctorate in Jewish thought from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his laurea cum laude from the Universita Cattolica of Milan. He is the author of several essays on contemporary Jewish philosophy, the Holocaust, hermeneutics, and literary criticism. His most recent books are Auschwitz nel pensiero ebraico (1998) and Cristianesimo e Shoah (2000). He contributed to the conference on the Holocaust Remembering for the Future (Oxford 2000) and is active in Jewish-Christian relations.