"... 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 Program
Thursday, October 18, 2018, 7–8:30 p.m.
A leading expert explores new scholarship that sees Jesus and Paul as faithful and Torah-observant Jews throughout their lives.
Dr. Paula Fredriksen is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University.
Part 3 of a three-part series.
Dr. Philip Cunningham, joined by Rabbi Dr. Ruth Sandberg and Dr. Adam Gregerman, discusses whether the centrality of the Land of Israel for Jews has religious significance for Catholics.
Beginning fall 2018, the emeritus rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, is working closely with the Institute directors to advance its educational and research mission. Dedicated to interreligious understanding his entire career, he and Pope Francis discuss how much their dialogues have personally meant to them in the video linked below. Visit Rabbi Skorka's blog HERE.
In 2019, the Institute will host 22 scholars from several nations for a four-day conference to study major topics in Christian-Jewish relations, including identity and borders, mission, covenant, fulfillment, and the world religions. Nearly sixty proposals were received in response to the Institute's call for papers last October. A public session will occur on January 10, 2019.
Latest Essays by the Institute's Directors
- Philip A. Cunningham: "Emerging Principles of a Theology of Shalom," Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society 44/2 (December 2017): 281-305.
- Adam Gregerman, "Is the Biblical Land Promise Irrevocable?: Post Nostra Aetate Catholic Theologies of the Jewish Covenant and the Land of Israel," Modern Theology 34 (2018): 137-158.
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.