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Book Notes: Trialogue between Jew, Christian and Muslim, Ignaz Maybaum

P. R. McKenzie

<plain_text><page sequence="1">124 Book Notes Trialogue between Jew, Christian and Muslim, by Ignaz Maybaum (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization), London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973. 179pp. The medieval trialogue was employed by Jew, Christian, and Muslim to show the pre-eminence of their own form of monotheism. Although it is used by Ignaz Maybaum to support Western civilisation against the threat of 'Asiatic mysticism' and nihilism, the effect is somewhat the same. Judaism is treated theologically, from within, as unique; while Chris? tianity and Islam are seen more phenomenologically, in terms of approximate types and categories. None the less there is much that is valuable as well as provo? cative in this modern trialogue. Judaism is considered as essentially prophetic in character, but it is also 'a community of common blood'. It is 'the Jew himself (Rosenzweig). Christianity is seen in terms of spiritu? ality, conversion, and the dichotomy between the profane and the spiritual. Islam is the religion of the law and of obedience. All three forms of monotheism have influenced one another. Hasidic piety, for in? stance, is largely a Christian-inspired deviation, while Orthodox w/emd-rabbis still wear 'a gown woven in the [Islamic] orient'. Maybaum is at heart a European and a Jewish humanist. But when Christian antisemi tism and the holocaust were at the gate, humanism was a feeble defender. The rise of the State of Israel wiped away the tears but was not a messianic event. The diaspora existence of the Jew is unaffected. 'The Jew must speak', says Maybaum. Genug gelitten, in the Trialogue the speaking has begun. P. R. McKenzie</page></plain_text>