SJU Appoints Assistant Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

Adam Gregerman to Join the Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Philadelphia (March 6, 2013) — Saint Joseph’s University has appointed Adam L. Gregerman, Ph.D., a widely respected scholar in Christian-Jewish relations, as assistant director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations and assistant professor of Jewish Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, effective fall 2013. He will collaborate with Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., the director of the Institute, in managing its growing activities nationally and internationally.

In announcing the appointment, William Madges, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,  noted that “Adam Gregerman is well known among interreligious scholars as a leading expert in Jewish-Christian relations, both historical and contemporary, who has a deep understanding of biblical interpretation and religious polemics.” Dean Madges, himself a specialist on the teachings of Blessed John Paul II on the Catholic Church’s relationship to Jews and Judaism, added that he is “delighted to welcome Dr. Gregerman to Philadelphia and to the SJU community.”

Since its founding in 1967, the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations has encouraged and facilitated interfaith dialogue among Philadelphia area Christian and Jewish communities. It was the first such endeavor established at an American Catholic university in response to the Second Vatican Council, and was guided for forty years by the late Donald G. Clifford, S.J.

With Fr. Clifford’s retirement in 2008, SJU dramatically expanded the Institute’s mission by naming Dr. Cunningham as his successor with a senior faculty appointment in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Since then the Institute has become increasingly integrated into the life of the campus community and energetically participates in national and international research about the theologies that have shaped and continue to shape Catholic and Jewish self-understanding in relation to the other.

Dr. Cunningham was enthusiastic to learn of Dr. Gregerman’s appointment. “Adam Gregerman possesses the enviable ability to express the richness of Judaism’s religious heritage in ways that Christians, especially Catholics, can readily appreciate,” he noted. “His presence will greatly benefit both the students of SJU and the scholarly activities of the Institute.”

Two members of the Institute’s Board of Directors also welcomed the news of Dr. Gregerman’s appointment. Charles Kahn, Jr., Hon. Ph.D. Comm. Science, president of Kahn and Company Real Estate, stated, “It is a clear sign of SJU’s deep commitment to promoting interreligious understanding.” Fellow Board member, David P. Efroymson, Ph.D., added that Dr. Gregerman “comes to SJU with a wealth of both academic and practical experience in Jewish Studies, Jewish-Christian Relations, and in the history of Christian anti-Judaism.”

Dr. Gregerman’s arrival augments some existing strengths in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. “All SJU undergraduate students must study a non-Christian religious tradition during their course of study,” explained Shawn Krahmer, Ph.D., the department chair. “The addition of Dr. Gregerman to our faculty superbly complements the expertise of our Islamic scholar, Dr. Umeyye Isra Yazicioglu, and also that of Dr. Cunningham, which opens up exciting new possibilities for studying the three Abrahamic traditions.”

“I am honored to be asked to join the faculty of Saint Joseph’s University,” said Dr. Gregerman. “As a scholar of Judaism with a focus on Jewish-Christian relations, I am impressed with the university’s commitment to educating its students about other religions, in my case, through a full-time appointment in Jewish Studies. As a Jew, the university’s emphasis on service, intellectual rigor, and moral discernment resonates with my own religious and educational traditions.”

Dr. Gregerman has written in such journals as InterpretationCross CurrentsThe Journal of Ecumenical Studies, and Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, and in numerous edited volumes. Most recently, he contributed to The Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press) and to Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships (Eerdmans and Gregorian & Biblical Presses). A member of the Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and book review editor for the journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, he is a frequent consultant to national and regional Jewish groups on interreligious affairs. He holds degrees from Amherst College (B.A.), Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.), and Columbia University (Ph.D.), and has studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary.