When Christians Were Jews

Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Large Lapsley Room, Haub Executive Center in McShain Hall [Campus Map]

 

For centuries, both Christians and Jews have known that their two traditions shared important sacred scriptures. But they have also assumed that the two communities had been separate, even mutually hostile, since the mission of Jesus himself. Jesus was imagined as condemning the Judaism of his day; Paul was understood to be both a  rabid foe of Christianity and then, renouncing his native faith, Judaism’s fiercest critic while preaching a Law-free gospel to Gentiles. Recent scholarship, however, has upended this traditional construct. Both Jesus and Paul, say these scholars, remained faithful and Torah-observant Jews throughout their lives. More: inscriptions and various other evidence reveal that Christ-following Jews and Gentiles interacted closely and positively with synagogue Jews for centuries, throughout the Roman period, even long after Constantine. Join us as a leading expert and contributor to these recent scholarly developments explains this new emerging paradigm, and explore with us what this historical research might mean for relations between Christians and Jews today.

 

Dr. Paula Fredriksen, the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University, has since 2009 been Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she also holds honorary doctorates from Iona College (USA), Lund University (Sweden), and Hebrew University (Israel). She has published widely on the social and intellectual history of ancient Christianity, and on pagan-Jewish-Christian relations in the Roman Empire. Author of Augustine on Romans (1982) and From Jesus to Christ (1988; 2000), her Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, won a 1999 National Jewish Book Award. More recently, she has explored the development of Christian anti-Judaism, and Augustine’s singular response to it, in Augustine and the Jews: A Christian Defense of Jews and Judaism (2010); and has investigated the shifting conceptions of God and of humanity in Sin: The Early History of an Idea (2012). Her latest two studies, Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle (2017), and When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation (2018), place the Jesus-movement’s Jewish messianic message within the wider world of ancient Mediterranean culture, politics, and power.

Jewish-Christian Dialogue and Dialogue with Other Religions: Are They Mutually Complementary?

Monday, November 12, 2018 at 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Large Lapsley Room, Haub Executive Center in McShain Hall [Campus Map]

 

It is often claimed that Judaism and Christianity stand in a unique relationship with each other because of their special historical and theological connections, which is not true of the relationship of Christianity with other religions. The presentation critically examines the validity of this claim and explores the theological possibility of attributing a “special” relationship between God and other religions and the desirability of applying the same process and patterns of the Jewish-Christian dialogue to the interreligious dialogue between Christianity and all religions.

Dr. Peter C. Phan is the inaugural holder of the Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. He holds three earned doctorates and three honorary doctorates. He is the author/editor of 30 books and author of 300 essays and book reviews. His latest book is The Joy of Religious Pluralism. A Personal Journey (Orbis Books, 2017).

Fulfilling the Promise of a New Relationship: A Public Roundtable on Covenant and the Land

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Campion Student Center: Doyle Banquet Hall North

[Campus Map]

 

From Monday, January 7 through Thursday, January 10, 2019, the Institute will welcome twenty-two scholars from eight countries to study together major issues in Christian-Jewish relations. Participants will hear and discuss papers on topics that include identity and borders, fulfillment, Jewish and Christian missions, Christology, covenant, the Apostle Paul, and the connections between Christian-Jewish relations and global religious pluralism.

Gavin D’Costa
University of Bristol
United Kingdom

Amy-Jill Levine
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee

On Tuesday evening, an open session of the conference will provide an experience of its deliberations in a “fishbowl” format. Dr. Gavin D’Costa from the University of Bristol, U.K. will present his paper, “Catholic Theology and the Promise of the Land as Part of the Jewish Covenant.” Dr. Amy-Jill Levine from Vanderbilt University will offer a response, followed by a general discussion among all the conference participants. Then all present will be invited to join the conversation. Refreshments will be provided. Don’t miss this unusual opportunity for intensive theological dialogue and reflection. 

The Passover Seder at SJU

Jews and Christians Experiencing Exodus Together

Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

 

McShain Hall: Haub Conference Center, Large Maguire Room

[Campus Map]

 

The Passover Meal, the Seder, marks one of the major feasts on the Jewish calendar. Passover is also important for Christians since the story of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt is a principal element of many Christian observances, especially during Holy Week. The Seder meal is a wonderful way for Christians to have a direct experience of Jewish spiritual life, and for both communities to rededicate themselves to a world in which slavery and injustice are no more.

The Passover Seder at SJU is a full catered kosher meal. Participants will join in the prayers, songs, and celebration in as close to a traditionally Jewish form as possible.

Pre-registration is required; registration information will be available early in 2019.