IJCR hosts international research project on "Christ Jesus the Jew"

The Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations is cosponsoring with the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the Center for Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religions at the Universität Salzburg in Austria, and the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College a multiyear research project entitled "Christ Jesus the Jew: The Importance of His Jewish Identity for Christians and for Jews Today."

In September 2022, it brought together at SJU a research team of twenty scholars from ten countries to explore the idea that the Jewish identity of Jesus is more religiously significant for Jews and Christians today than is generally appreciated in either community.

Facial reconstruction from a 1st-century Jewish man's skull by forensic artist Richard Neave.
Facial reconstruction from a 1st-century Jewish man's skull by forensic artist Richard Neave.

Even though the Jewishness of Jesus has been frequently acknowledged in recent Christian and Jewish documents, it may be asked whether this recognition has had any discernible effect in the Christian or Jewish communities. It seems that the current religious imaginations of Christians and Jews alike have not yet really been impacted when they think of Jesus in his historic times. The research team will study together the many aspects of this topic, which include Jesus as devoted to Torah observance, christology and race, the Jewishness of Jesus and salvation, Israel as "light to the nations," the living Christ as a Jew today, and messianism in a post-Shoah world. 

It is hoped that the project will produce a book to explore these subjects to mark the 60 anniversary of the Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate in 2025.