Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D.

Professor of Theology; Director, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations
Specializations: Christian-Jewish Relations, Biblical Theology, Religious Education
Office: Bellarmine 220
Phone: 610-660-1863
Fax: (610) 660-3217
Websites: Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Dialogika

Dr. Philip A. Cunningham is Professor of Theology (specializing in Christian-Jewish Relations) and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. He has served as president of the International Council of Christians and Jews and on the Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is secretary-treasurer and webmaster of the Internet resource Dialogika of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations.

Interested in biblical studies, religious education, and theologies of Christian-Jewish relations, he is the author of numerous books and articles on these subjects. His most recent book is Seeking Shalom: The Journey to Right Relationship between Catholics and Jews (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2015).  Previously he co-edited with Joseph Sievers, Mary Boys, Hans Hermann Henrix, and Jesper Svartvik the anthology Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2011).

A member of the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, he contributed to their 2002 statement “A Sacred Obligation: Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People” and their 2005 book Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation (Sheed & Ward).




  • Doctor of Philosophy in Religion and Education, 1992, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Dissertation : “A Content Analysis of the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Current Roman Catholic Religion Textbooks”

  • Master of Arts in Religious Education (Theology - NT), 1984, LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Master of Sciences in Education (Curriculum and Teaching), 1977, Fordham Graduate School of Education, Lincoln Center, NY
  • Bachelor of Arts (History), 1972, Fordham College, Bronx, NY


Professional Experience

  • President, International Council of Christians and Jews (2014-2017)
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (2000 - present)
  • Director, Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph's University (2008-present)
  • Executive Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Boston College (2000-2007)
  • Director of the Ministry Institute, Notre Dame College (1991-2000)

See C.V. for complete list.



Courses Taught

  • THE 154 - Faith, Justice, and the Catholic Tradition
  • THE 324 - The New Testament and Christian Attitudes toward Jews and Judaism
  • THE 384 - Jewish and Christian Theologies: A Comparative Approach
  • THE 385 - New Ways of Thinking about the Jewish Jesus as Savior
  • THE 387 - Jews and Christians: Entwined Histories
  • THE 388 - Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the Bible




  • Seeking Shalom: The Journey to Right Relationship between Catholics and Jews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). [info]


  • Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011)
  • The Catholic Church and the Jewish People: Recent Reflections from Rome. (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007).


  • "Emerging Principles of a Theology of Shalom," Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society (Dec 2017) [introductory blog; full text]
  • “Is the Pope ‘Anti-Jewish’? No, but Here’s Why his Critics Think So” Commonweal 144/8 (May 19, 2017): 19-21. [text]
  • “Gifts and Calling: Coming to Terms with Jews as Covenantal Partners,” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 12/1 (2017). [text
  • “The Sources behind ‘“The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable” (Rom 11:29): A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate (No. 4),’” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 12/1 (2017).  [text]
  • “Celebrating a 50 Year ‘Journey of Friendship’ between Catholics and Jews in Philadelphia” (with Adam Gregerman), Connections, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, January, 2015.
  • “Giving Thanks for a New Jewish-Catholic Relationship in Our Time” (Op-ed, with Adam Gregerman), The Jewish Exponent, November 26, 2014.
  • “Implications of Paul’s Hopes for the End of Days for Jews and Christians Today: A Critical Re-evaluation of the Evidence” (with Mark N. Nanos), Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 9/1 (2014). [text]
  • “‘God Holds the Jews Most Dear’: Learning to Respect Jewish Self-Understanding,” in Gilbert Rosenthal, ed., A Jubilee for All Time: The Copernican Revolution in Jewish-Christian Relations (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014), 44-58.
  • "Celebrating Judaism as a 'Sacrament of Every Otherness,'" Kristen Colberg and Robert Krieg, eds., The Theology of Cardinal Walter Kasper: Speaking Truth in Love (St. John’s MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), 223-240.
  • “Building a New Relationship: A Catholic Perspective,” Franklin Sherman, ed., Bridges: Documents of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue. Volume Two. Building a New Relationship (1986-2103) (New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press/Stimulus Books, 2014), 15-38.

See C.V. for complete list.


Grants and Awards

  • "Tengelmann Award for Distinguished Research and Teaching," Saint Joseph's University, May 18, 2019. 
  • "Eternal Light Award" for outstanding contributions to Catholic-Jewish relations, Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, FL, October 25, 2018. 
  •  Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA, May 21, 2017.
  • “Peace and Dialogue Award” for Promoting Interfaith Understanding, The Dialogue Forum and the Peace Islands Institute, Philadelphia, PA, April 23, 2014.
  • “Lester Gilson Memorial Community Service Award,” South Area Solomon Schechter Day School, Boston, MA, March 11, 2007.



  • Coordinator of international research project: "Promise, Land, and Hope: Jews and Christians Seeking Understanding to Enable Constructive Dialogue about Israeli-Palestinian Issues" (2011-present).
  • Project moderator for the International Council of Christians and Jews project: “Reassessing the Christian-Jewish Dialogue” (2007-2009).
  • North American Coordinator of the Christ and the Jewish People project (2007-2011).
  • Co-editor of peer-reviewed e-journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (2005-2007).


Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: Christian-Jewish Relations, Interreligious Dialogue, Biblical Studies, Religious Education