"... deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics through shared study since 1967."
The Story of the Institute
In 1965, the Second Vatican Council called for Catholics and Jews to join in “biblical and theological inquiry … and friendly discussions.” Almost at once the Jesuit community at Saint Joseph’s College founded the Institute – the first such response to the Council by an American Catholic institution of higher education. They believed that rapprochement between Jews and Catholics was integral to the Catholic and Jesuit identity of Saint Joseph's and defined the mission of the Institute as increasing knowledge and deepening understanding between the two communities. Today, the Institute is directed by a Jewish professor and a Catholic professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. They regularly team-teach and partner nationally and globally to research Jewish and Christian reconciliation and reform. They promote opportunities for Christians and Jews to be study partners, teaching and learning about themselves and each other by studying and experiencing together texts, rituals, events, and places. This vision is enshrined in the original Joshua Koffman sculpture outside the university chapel, "Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time."
Our Next Program
Maxims for Mutuality: Principles for Catholic Theology, Education, and Preaching about Jews and Judaism
Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. ON CAMPUS!
The Institute is hosting the 2021 meeting of the national Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR). Institute director, Philip Cunningham, will give the public keynote on the topic of his forthcoming book, Maxims for Mutuality and receive the CCJR’s Shevet Achim Award for Outstanding Contributions to Christian-Jewish Relations. He will propose ten principles that synthesize Catholic insights that have arisen since the Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate in 1965.
Dr. Philip A. Cunningham is Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations.
SJU Professors Nancy Fox and James O'Sullivan discuss certain public policy issues from their respective traditions’ principles of social justice. Topics considered include minimum wage, immigration, and climate change.
Dr. Cunningham is an advisory board member for this project of the Berlin-based publisher DeGruyter. He and Dr. Gregerman have also authored articles in it. Click on the title for an introductory video to the project, which includes an interview with the Institute directors about co-writing one of the entries.
The Institute was a university sponsor of a research project of the International Council of Christians and Jews, which recently led to the publication of a resource book for Jews and Christians on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Published by Paulist Press, click on the title for a video interview with the volume's editors and the Institute directors, who also contributed to the book.
Call for Papers
is the theme of a special issue of the online, peer-reviewed journal Religions being co-edited by the Institute's directors. Scholars are invited to submit proposals or papers for the issue, to be completed by September 30, 2021.
Latest Essays by IJCR Professors
Cunningham and Gregerman:
"The Import of To Do the Will—A Catholic and a Jewish Perspective"
in Ahrens, Greenberg, and Korn, eds., From Confrontation to Covenantal Partnership: Jews and Christians Reflect on the Orthodox Rabbinic Statement "To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven" (click cover for book details).
The Institute cosponsors with the CCJR a library of resources in C-J relations called Dialogika ("things of dialogue"). The library provides documents from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and interfaith bodies; educational resources; and texts from the history of C-J relations.
The Institute is a member of the Consortium of Holocaust Educators of Greater Philadelphia, which fosters communication and cooperation among regional organizations engaged in Holocaust awareness and education.
Please support our mission!
The Institute's many programs are funded by gifts that support our work and through an endowment that honors the Institute's late director, the Rev. Donald G. Clifford, S.J., who directed its activities for over forty years. Please consider financially joining in our mission of deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics through joint study.