Welcome to the

Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

 

"... deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics through shared study since 1967."

The Story of the Institute

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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."

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Our Next Program

Latest Videos

TIL KINGDOM COME: A Film about Christian Evangelicals and Israel

Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7 p.m.

In this provocative look at strange political bedfellows, Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein investigates the political alliance between American evangelicals and Israel’s right wing, and their influence on United States foreign policy. Registrants will be able to view the documentary online before the webinar panel.

Guest panelists:

Dr. Yaakov Ariel, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Caitlen Carenen, Professor of History and department chair at Eastern Connecticut State University

Click here for full details and required registration. 

SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story

A lively discussion of the new film with producer Martin Doblmeier, Dr. Susannah Heschel, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, and Dr. Philip Cunningham, moderated by Dr. Adam Gregerman. The panel explores Rabbi Heschel's spirituality of radical amazement, his hasidic roots, affinity with the African American prophetic tradition, contribution to the Second Vatican Council, and other aspects of his life and work. 

THE BIBLE WITH AND WITHOUT JESUS

How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently 

Join Dr. Marc Brettler and Dr. Amy-Jill Levine in a spirited conversation about their new book. They explore how Jews and Christians can learn from and understand each other better by examining how they read many of the same Bible stories through different lenses.

 

International Collaborations

Encyclopedia of Jewish-Christian Relations

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.

Enabling Dialogue about the Land

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

Christian Theologies of Jews and Judaism

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 May 1, 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).

Institute Memberships


The Institute is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), a network of centers and institutes in the United States and Canada. The Council publishes the peer-reviewed, open-access online journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations.

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.

Consortium of Holocaust Educators (CHE) of Greater PhiladelphiaThe 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.

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