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Current Academic Year's Courses

center for christian-jewish learning


The Holocaust: A Moral History (James Bernauer, S.J.)
The tragic event that ruptured modern western morality will be examined from a variety of perspectives. We shall study the testimony of both its victims and its perpetrators. Special attention will be given to consideration of the intellectual and moral factors which motivated resistance or excused indifference. We shall conclude with interpretations of its meaning for contemporary morality and of its theological significance for Christians and Jews.

Michel Foucault (James Bernauer, S.J.)
This course is a graduate seminar on Michel Foucault, French philosopher, social theorist, and historian of ideas.

Religious Quest: Comparative Perspectives II (Ruth Langer)
This course is a continuation of the fall course "Religious Quest." Please see the description below.

Israel in Jewish Theologies (Ruth Langer)
Israel, both the people and the land, are central to Jewish theology as concrete manifestations of God's covenants. This course will explore the evolving meanings of these concepts from the Bible to today, looking at themes like peoplehood, life in the land, exile from it, and (messianic) return. The second part of the course will focus specifically on the theologies of a range of modern Jewish thinkers, with the goal of helping students to understand aspects of contemporary Israel and its meaning to world Jewry.


FALL 2017

Exploring the Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel (Ruth Langer)
A refugee from the Nazis, Abraham Joshua Heschel became one of the most beloved and influential Jewish theologians of his day. He advised the bishops in formulating their new teachings about Jews and Judaism at the Second Vatican Council, he marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, he protested the Vietnam War, and he dialogued with other leading Christian theologians. This course will be an exercise in comparative theology, engaging key elements of Heschel's writings and the Judaism expressed in them in order to investigate their potential for contributing to the self-understanding of Christians and practitioners of other religions. 

Religious Quest: Comparative Perspectives (Ruth Langer)
This course explores Judaism and Christianity through their apparent points of contact as well as their differences. The fall semester focuses on Exodus and Matthew and their functions as the "master stories" of their communities, shaping self-understandings and ritual lives. The spring semester of this course delves into the creation narratives of Genesis, studying the two communities' interpretations of the biblical text and how it and its interpretations shape people's lives. It considers such topics as birth and death, marriage and reproductive ethics, ecology, economic justice, and the Sabbath.

Martin Luther and His Interpreters (Christine Helmer)
The aim of this course is to query the construction of Luther as modern Protestant by returning to the sources, his most important theological works. In this course we will read Luther himself and analyze his writings in order to figure out in what respects he was indeed a Catholic theologian and a reformer of the Church. We will analyze the structure of his thought, his rhetoric and polemic, and his theological ideas and commitments. During this process we will gain some familiarity with Luther's medieval theological sources in addition to the twentieth-century Protestant theologians who took him for granted as their own.