CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED**
most of the past 2000 years, interactions between Christians and Jews have been
uneasy. Suspicion, mistrust,
persecution, expulsions, forced conversions, and pogroms have marked the
relationships between the two peoples.
this seminar we shall try to understand that troubled history. Yesterday’s
world was not always bleak. Today’s
world is not always rosy as far as Christian-Jewish understanding goes.
Nevertheless, it seems we are making real progress.
The efforts of the Hartford Seminary to include courses like this and
courses in Jewish thought in its offerings are eloquent testimony of the
Toward the end of the semester, we shall examine some of the hopeful
trends that have emerged in recent decades along with some disturbing events
that have occurred in recent years. The
goal in offering this course is to contribute positively to a dialogical process
that will lead to a greater understanding of the troubled history between
Christians and Jews with an eye to creating a cooperative future based on
respect and affirmation. Hopefully, such understanding, affirmation, mutual
respect can, quite simply, help us build a better world.
Each student taking the course for credit will prepare a twenty-minute
presentation on a topic mentioned in or related to the syllabus.
Suggestions for topics that would enrich the seminar include but are not
limited to: The lives and writing
of specific Church Fathers, the Crusades, Martin Luther, Disputations in the
Middle Ages, Pogroms in Eastern Europe, The Spanish Inquisition, The Mendel
Beilis Trial, Christian Responses to the State of Israel, Henry Ford, Father
Charles Coughlin, Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, and Mel
Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ.
the day of his/her presentation, the student will submit a 3-4 page summary
outline of what s/he will cover. By
April 21, each student will submit a 15 page in depth paper covering (and
perhaps elaborating on) the substance of his/her presentations. There will also be a one hour final examination on April 28 designed to measure the students’ ability to identify key concepts and events
discussed in assigned readings and classroom discussions.
Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, Boston, Houghton- Mifflin, 2001
Nicholls Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate, Northvale, New
Jersey, Jason Aronson, 1995
pack of readings prepared by Instructor
27—Getting Acquainted, Hopes and Dreams, Expectations, The Concept of the
Messiah in Jewish thought, the significance of the Pharisees.
Carroll, Pp. 3-25.
Walter Harrelson and Randall M. Falk,
Jews and Christians: A Troubled
Family, (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1990), “Historical
Perspectives on The Relationships of Jews and
A Christian Outlook,” Pp. 41-50.
Stephen Fuchs, “The Pharisees: Their
3 and February 10--New Testament Roots of Jewish-Christian Controversy and Mis-understanding.
Romans 8-11; I Corinthians 11:23-26; Galatians 1:6-8; 5:1-12;
Thessalonians 2:14-16. Mk
8:27-33; 10:32-34; MT 5-7, 20:2-23; 23, 27, 28; LK
4:28-30, 7:24-35, 10:29-37, 11:37-12-1, 13:22-30, 18:9-14;
2:14-36, 7:51-53, John 1:11, 5:1-18, 8, 10:19-39, 11:1-54, 18:28-19:16,
Reading: Rosemary Radford
Ruether, Faith and Fratricide, (New
1974), “Introduction,” by Gregory Baum, Chapter 2, “The
Growing Estrangement: The Rejection of Jew In the New Testament.” Carroll, Pp. 71-152.
Sandmel, Anti-Semitism in the New Testament,
Fortress Press, 1978), Preface and Introduction, Pp.
ix-xxi, and Chapter 2, “Paul”, Pp. 6-18.
Samuel H. Goldenson, “Jesus of Nazareth in The Light of
Jewish and Christian Thought and History,” in World
Problems and Personal Religion, Sermons,
Selected Writing of Samuel H. Goldenson, (Pittsburgh,
Rodeph Shalom Congregation, 1975),
17—Controversial and Misunderstood Passages in Hebrew Scriptures.
Passages: Genesis 2-3;
Exodus 4, 20:4-6, 21:22-24, 34:5-7; Leviticus 26:27-33; Joshua 10:28-43; I Samuel 15:17-35.
Reading: Abba Hillel Silver,
Where Judaism Differed, (New York, Macmillan
Publishing Co. Inc., 1956),
187, (“In the Genesis
story…”) - 193, (“… endowed with
Fuchs, “Pharaoh’s Hardened Heart.”
February 24—The Writings
of the Church Fathers
Ruether: Chapter 3, “The Negation of the
Jews in the Church Fathers,” Pp.117-181.
Malcolm Hay, The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism, (New
Freedom Library Press, 1981), Chapter 1, “The Golden Mouth,”
web search on “Chrysostom” will yield sites denying he was an anti-Semite
and extolling his greatness.
March 3—Showing and
Discussion of “The Passion of the Christ.”
Fuchs and Stephen Sidorak “Film Undermines Jewish-Christian
Relations,” op-ed, Hartford Courant, February 29, 2004
March 10—Into the Middle
Reading: Carroll, 237-310
Ruether, Chapter 4, “The Social Incorporation of the
Negative Myth Of Jews in Christendom,”
Chapter 2, “Thy Brother’s Blood,” Pp. 33-67.
F. Cantor, The Sacred Chain, (New York, Harper Collins, 1994),
Chapter 6, “Ashkenaz and Sepharad,” Pp. 155-185
Steven Bayme, Understanding Jewish History, Texts and
(Ktav Publishing House, Inc.1997), Unit XIV,
Crusades and the Jews,” Pp. 164-175.
March 17— The Spanish
Cantor, Pp. 185,
(“At the other end of Europe…”) – top of 194
and cosmopolitan in their outlook.”
Bayme, Unit XVI, “Jews and Christian
24—Spring Break. No class.
Carroll, 365 (bottom, The amorphous spirit…”-368 (bottom)
Joseph Elijah Heller and B. Mordechai Ansbacher, “Martin
Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 11, Pp. 583-586.
Heinrich Graetz, History of the
Jews, (Philadelphia, The Jewish
Publication Society of America, 1967), vol. IV, Pp.
(“A year later,…) -552 (“…their
Hay, 166 (“The Reformation
brought no …)-169 (“….Luther’s birthday.”)
7---Ghettos, Shtetls, and Pogroms: Eastern
Europe, England and France:
Elissa Kohen, “Shylock and other Pervasive Anti-Semitic Stereotypes
of Post-Expulsion England.”
Simon Dubnow, History of The Jews in Russia and
Poland, “Chapter V, “The Autonomous Center in Poland during Its
(1648-1772), Pp. 144, (“ …In the spring of
- 158, (“…destroyed forever,”)
Howard M. Sachar, “The Course of
Modern Jewish History,
IV, “Incarceration: The Jews of
Eastern Europe, Pp.
Five Years of My Life, The Diary
of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, (New
York, Peebles Press, 1977), “Introduction” by Nicholas Halasz,
14-- The Golden Land, The Great Depression—Henry Ford, Father Charles
Morton Rosenstock, “Anti- Semitism in the U.S.,”
(Jerusalem, Keter Publishing House, 1972),
vol. 15, Pp. 1648-1657.
Warren, Radio Priest, Charles Coughlin, The Father of
Radio, (New York, The Free Press, 1996), Pp. 23
broadcasting – 28, “…Priest of the radio.”);
9, “Jewish Actions Which Cause Cruel Persecution,”
Hopeful Developments: Vatican
II and Nostra Aetate
Reading: Eugene Fisher, “Pope
John Paul II’s Pilgrimage of Reconciliation:
A Commentary on The Texts,” in John Paul II
Jews and Judaism, (Washington D.C., United States Catholic Conference,
Inc., Pp. 7-19.
John Paul II, On Jews and Judaism, Pp. 70-97.
James Rudin, “The Dramatic Impact of Nostra Aetate,” in
Years of Jewish-Catholic Relations,
ed. By Eugene J. Fisher, A. James Rudin, Marc H. Tanenbaum, (New York, Paulist
Press, 1986) Pp.9-18.
28—Zionism and the State of Israel
Fuchs, Pawlikowski, Adelson, “The Zionist Dimension to the Christian-Jewish
Harrelson and Falk, Jews and Christians, A Troubled Family
the State of Israel,” Pp.145-167.
Summing Up, Where
Do We Go From Here?
hour: written final exam consisting of key concepts and events discussed in
readings and classroom sessions.
each student, including –hopefully-- auditors, will present a five-minute
reflection on his/her hopes and dreams for the future of Christian-Jewish
dialogue and understanding.
Elliot Abrams, Faith or Fear, Chapter 4, “Evangelicals,” Pp.
Stephen Fuchs, “A Jew Looks at Jesus.”
Stephen Fuchs, “Should Christians Convert Jews?”
for the class will be determined as follows:
Seminar presentation: 35%
Examination on May 4: 10%
will be available for consultations by appointment, via email: email@example.com
and by phone (860)233-8215.
Elie Wiesel, And
The Sea is Never Full, Memoirs, 1969 –
The ancient scourge, whose origins remain hidden in darkness, knows
neither barriers nor frontiers. It
strikes all races and religions, all political systems and social classes, and
because hatred is willed by man, God Himself is unable to stop it.
No nation may consider itself protected against its poison; no society is
safe against its arrows. Both blind
and blinding, this hatred …kills all those who forget the greatness of which
they are capable and the promises once bestowed upon them.
Hatred has no mercy for those who refuse to fight it.
It kills whoever will not try to disarm it. Parents, teach your children that to hate is to mutilate
their own future. Teachers, tell
your pupils that hatred is the negation of every triumph that culture and
civilization may achieve. Politicians,
tell your constituencies that hatred is, at all levels, your principal enemy,
and theirs. Tell all those who
listen to you that hatred breeds hatred and can breed nothing else.
hate is to refuse to accept another person as a human being, to
him, to limit your own horizon by narrowing his, to look at him and
also at yourself—not as a subject of pride but as an object of disdain and
fear. To hate is to opt for the
easiest and most mind-reducing way out
digging a ditch into which the hater and his victim will both fall like
puppets. To hate is to kindle wars
that will turn children into
and make old people lose their minds from sorrow and contrition.
hatred makes the face of God invisible. Political
hatred wipes out
people’s liberties. In the field
of science, hatred inevitably puts itself at
death’s service. In literature,
it distorts truth, perverts the meaning of
story and hides beauty itself under a thick layer of blood and grime.
Today, at the threshold of the twenty-first century, this is what we must
tell all men and women for whom we wish a future as bright and smiling as the
faces of our children. If we do
nothing, hate will come sneaking perniciously and slyly into their mouths and
into their eyes, adulterating the mutual relations between people, nations,
societies and races. If we do
nothing, we will be passing onto the coming century that message of hatred known
to us as racism, fanaticism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism.
Democracy means dialogue. Without
the other, neither is conceivable. Together,
they contribute towards that “brotherhood of nations” mentioned by Alfred
Nobel in his last will and testament as man’s only hope of peace and survival.