"... 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 college. 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's professors teach courses on Christian-Jewish relations in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies 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.
Our Next Programs
Jan 27 & Feb 10, 2020
University Professor Rabbi Abraham Skorka will discuss how Judaism views other religious traditions. Responses will be offered by faculty in the Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies.
Jan 27: Christianity (response by Dr. Philip Cunningham)
Feb 10: Islam & Religions of Asia (responses by Dr. Ummeye Isra Yazicioglu and Dr. David Carpenter)
In this warm exchange, Rabbi Skorka notes how their book has become a model for interreligious dialogue. Pope Francis observes that a published book takes on a life of its own and calls for even more theological dialogue between Jews and Christians.
A Conversation that Changed History: The Meeting of Saint Pope John XXIII and Professor Jules Isaac, June 13, 1960
Sixty years ago this June, a half-hour meeting occurred that led directly to the birth of a new relationship between Jews and Catholics. To shed light on this immensely significant moment, the Institute and the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will co-sponsor an invitational research symposium on June 10-12, 2020. The participating scholars will study the influence of Prof. Isaac’s research, his audience with “Good Pope John,” and current and future aspects of what Pope Francis has called “the journey of friendship” between Catholic and Jews. (more…)
Latest Essays by IJCR Professors
Philip A. Cunningham and Adam Gregerman: “‘Genuine Brotherhood’ without Remorse: A Commentary on Joseph Ratzinger’s “Comments on ‘De Iudaeis,’” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 14/1 (December 2019).
Abraham Skorka, "What my friendship with Francis taught me about interfaith dialogue," America (February 2019)
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.
The Clifford Memorial Fund
Most of the Institute's many programs are funded by 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 supporting our mission of deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics.