How a Group of Christian Thinkers Argued That the Poor Are the New Jews

September 26, 2023 | Jon D. Levenson
About the author: Jon D. Levenson is the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the author of Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Library of Jewish Ideas; Princeton University Press).

The story of the exodus from Egypt, arguably the central narrative of the Hebrew Bible, is one of a group of persecuted and enslaved people who are led to freedom. In the 1960s and 70s, a number of Christian clergymen—influence by Marxism and other popular ideas—combined this fact with God’s manifest concern for the poor and the downtrodden throughout both Testaments to create a “liberation theology” concerned with the ending of various forms of oppression. In conversation with Ryan Gregg, Jon D. Levenson explains the limitations of this approach, and its connection to supersessionism—the idea that the Jews have been replaced in their special status. (Video, 34 minutes.)

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