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Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations

"Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time" by Joshua Koffman depicts the Institute's mission as Church and Synagogue enjoying the study of their sacred texts together. Pope Francis visited the SJU campus in 2015 to bless the sculpture and that mission. [Learn More]

The Story of the Institute

Deepening understanding between Jews and Catholics through shared study since 1967

In 1965, the Second Vatican Council in its declaration Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time") called—for the first time in history—upon Catholics and Jews to join in “biblical and theological inquiry … and friendly discussions.” Believing that rapprochement between Jews and Catholics was integral to the Catholic and Jesuit identity of Saint Joseph's, the Jesuit community founded the Institute, the first such American response to the Council. They defined the Institute's mission as increasing knowledge and deepening understanding between the two communities. The Institute today is directed by a Jewish professor and a Catholic professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. They regularly team-teach 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.

 

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IJCR to host international research on Christ Jesus the Jew

IJCR to host international research on Christ Jesus the Jew

In September, the IJCR will host 20 scholars from 10 nations as they begin a multiyear research project, "Christ Jesus the Jew: The Importance of His Jewish Identity for Christians and for Jews Today." 

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Rabbi Abraham Skorka receives honorary doctorate from SJU

Rabbi Abraham Skorka receives honorary doctorate from SJU

At its recent Commencement ceremonies, Saint Joseph’s University bestowed the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa on Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Ph.D. for his dedication to interreligious relations. 

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Podcast: Jews, Catholics, and our future together

Podcast: Jews, Catholics, and our future together

In this podcast, Professors Philip Cunningham and Adam Gregerman discuss with CatholicPhilly.com producer Gina Christian how the post-Vatican II Catholic-Jewish dialogue offers reasons for hope, and opportunities for more work to be done.

LATEST VIDEOS

Getting Away from Anti-Jewish Ideas about the Death of Jesus

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Why the Jewish Identity of Jesus is Important to Christians AND Jews

Why the Jewish Identity of Jesus is Important to Christians AND Jews

Jehoschua Ahrens, Willie James Jennings, Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, and Ruth Langer explore why the Jewishness of Jesus is significant in different ways for Jews and Christians today and their interrelationship. 

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Getting Away from Anti-Jewish Ideas about the Death of Jesus

Getting Away from Anti-Jewish Ideas about the Death of Jesus

Dr. Jesper Svartvik shows that common Christian ideas about Jesus' death are based on mistaken notions of Temple sacrifices in biblical Judaism. He offers a theology of the cross in which God is making all things new.

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Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front

Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front

Dr. Charles Gallagher, SJ's provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the American far right. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Christian Front imagined itself as crusading against godless communism and a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. 

International Collaborations

Encyclopedia of Jewish-Christian Relations

Dr. Cunningham is an advisory board member for this project of the Berlin-based publisher DeGruyter. He and Dr. Gregerman have also authored articles in it. View an introductory video to the project, which includes an interview with the Institute directors about co-writing one of the entries.

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Enabling Dialogue about the Land

The Institute was a university sponsor of a research project of the International Council of Christians and Jews, which led to the publication of a resource book for Jews and Christians on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by Paulist Press. Watch a video interview with the volume’s editors on ICCJ's YouTube channel.

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Collaborative Resources

  • The Institute is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), a network of centers and institutes in the United States and Canada. The Council publishes the peer-reviewed, open-access online journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations.

  • The Institute cosponsors with the CCJR a library of resources in Catholic-Jewish 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 Catholic-Jewish relations.

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