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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Ruth Langer

theology department

Ruth Langer

Professor, Theology Department

Associate Director Center for Christian Jewish Learning

Stokes N411
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-8492
Fax: 617-552-0794

Personal Web Site

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours


Ph.D., Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
Rabbinic Ordination, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
MAHL, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
AB, Bryn Mawr College


Please find this at:


Jewish liturgy
Christian-Jewish relations


  • Religious Quest I
  • Religious Quest II
  • Turning Points in Jewish History
  • Four Biblical Books in Comparative Perspective
  • Jewish Liturgy: Its History and Theology
  • Jews and Christians: Understanding the Other
  • From Diatribe to Dialogue: Studies in the Jewish-Christian Encounter
  • Passover in Midrash and Talmud
  • Israel in Jewish Theologies


  • Berakah Award, North American Academy of Liturgy, 2015
  • Co-editor, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
  • Chair, Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, 2012-
  • Distinguished Scholarship Award, Jewish Studies Program, Boston College, 2012
  • Clal Yisrael Award (together with husband), Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, 2011
  • Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of
    Religion, for work in Christian-Jewish relations, 2011
  • Distinguished Service Award, Jewish Studies Program, Boston College, 2009
  • Lester Gilson Memorial Community Service Award, South Area Solomon
    Schechter Day School, 2007
  • Yad Hanadiv/Beracha Foundation Fellowship, 2001-2002
  • Honorary Starr Fellowship, Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University, 1998-1999


Jewish Liturgy: A Guide to Research (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

Cursing the Christians?: A History of the Birkat HaMinim (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Liturgy in the Life of the Synagogue: Studies in the History of Jewish Prayer, ed. Ruth Langer and Steven Fine (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2005).

To Worship God Properly: Tensions between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2005).

"From Study of Scripture to a Reenactment of Sinai," Worship 72:1 (January 1998): 43-67.

"Birkat Betulim: A Study of the Jewish Celebration of Bridal Virginity," Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish ResearchLXI (1995): 53-94.



“Birkat HaMinim,” “Hallel,” and “Blessings, Jewish,” in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, ed. Eric Olins et al. (New York/ Oxon: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, 2016), on line by subscription at[;vnd.vst.idref=Cover].

“The Blessings and Challenges of Interreligious Prayer,” In the Proceedings of the North American Academy of Liturgy (2015): 27-35.

“Jewish Reflections On Worshipping in a Religiously Pluralist Age: The Case of Aleynu,” Worship 89, no. 5 (September 2015): 393-406.

“Broadsides as Liturgical ‘Handouts’,” in The Writing on the Wall: A Catalogue of Broadsides from the Valmadonna Trust Collection, ed. Sharon Liberman Mintz, Shaul Seidler-Feller, and David Wachtel (London and New York: Valmadonna Trust Library, 2015), 32-47.

“Parameters of Hospitality for Interreligious Participation: A Jewish Perspective,” in Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue. Boundaries, Transgressions and Innovations, ed. Marianne Moyaert and Joris Geldhof (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 205-217.

“Grace after Meals,” Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, vol. 10 (De Gruyter on-line, 2015,

“The Bible in the Liturgy,” in The Jewish Study Bible, ed. Marc Brettler and Adele Berlin, 2nd edition (New York: Oxford USA, 2014), 2057-2067.

“Investigations into the Early European Forms of the Ṣidduq Ha-Din,” in Death in Jewish Life: Burial and Mourning Customs Among Jews of Europe and Nearby Communities,  ed. Stefan Reif, Andreas Lehnardt, and Avriel Bar-Levav (De Gruyter, 2014), 79-97.

Eileh Ezkerah: Overview of the Liturgy,” in Machzor: Challenge and Change, Volume 2, Preparing for Mishkan HaNefesh and the High Holy Days, ed. Hara E. Person, Adena Kemper, Liz Piper-Goldberg (New York: Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2014), 129-133.

“Constructing Memory in Jewish Liturgy,” in Toward the Future: Essays on Catholic-Jewish Relations in Memory of Rabbi Leon Klenicki , ed. Celia Deutsch (New York: Paulist Press, 2013), 117-128.

“The Decalogue in Jewish Liturgy,” in Decalogue and its Culture, edited by Dominik Markl (Sheffield Academic Press, 2013), 85-101.

Naming and Addressing Jewish Teachings of Contempt*,” (pp. 8) on the website of the International Abrahamic Forum, International Conference of Christians and Jews.

“The Tzedah Laderekh’s Apologia for the Birkat Haminim,” in Ke-Tavor Be-Harim: Studies in Rabbinic Literature Presented to Joseph Tabory, Arnon Atzmon and Tzur Shafir (eds.) (Alon Shevut: Tevunot Press, 2013), 7*-39*.

“The Liturgical Parting(s) of the Ways: A Preliminary Foray,” in A Living Tradition: On the Intersection of Liturgical History and Pastoral Practice, David A. Pitt, eds. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012), 43-58.

“Putting the Performance of the Vidui in its Context,” in We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Context, Ashamnu and Al Chet, ed. Lawrence A. Hoffman (Woodstock, Vermont: Jewish Lights Publishers, 2012), 205-209.

Review Essay: “The Rabbinical Assembly’s Mahzor Lev Shalem (New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 2010), in the Journal of Synagogue Music 37 (Fall 2012): 205-213.

“Jewish Liturgical Memory and the Non-Jew: Past Realities and Future Possibilities,” in Jewish Theology and World Religions, ed. Alon Goshen-Gottstein and Eugene Korn (Oxford and Portland, OR: Littmann, 2012), 167-86.

Cursing the Christians?: Origins of the Birkat HaMinim,” at The Bible and Interpretation.

“Worship,” in The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture, edited by Judith Baskin (Cambridge University Press, 2011), 663-665.

“The Censorship of Aleinu in Ashkenaz and its Aftermath,” in The Experience of Jewish Liturgy: Studies Dedicated to Menahem Schmelzer, edited by Debra Reed Blank (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2011), 147-166.

“Interreligious Prayer: Introduction,” with Stephanie Perdew VanSlyke, Liturgy 26:3 (2011): 1-10.

“Exploring the Interface of Dialogue and Theology: A Jewish Response to Christian Ruitishauser, Thomas Norris, and Liam Tracy,” in Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today: New Explorations of Theological Interrelationships, ed. Philip A. Cunningham (Grand Rapids, Cambridge UK: Eerdmans, 2011), 287-295.

“Jewish Worship and Liturgy,” in The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture, edited by Judith Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 337-356.

“The Presence of God in Jewish Liturgy,” in The Spirit in Worship and Worship in the Spirit, eds. Bryan Spinks and Teresa Berger (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009), 25-39.

"Liturgy in the Light of Jewish-Christian Dialogue," Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 4 (2009). Electronic Journal

“Continuity, Change, and Retrieval: The New Reform Siddur,” review essay in the Journal of Synagogue Music 34 (Fall 2009): 208-223.

"Jews and the American Funeral," in Only in America: The Open Society and Jewish Law, eds. Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer (Pittsburgh: Solomon B. Freehof Institute for Progressive Jewish Law, Rodef Shalom Press, 2009), 91-125.

"'We Do Not Even Know What To Do!'’: A Foray into the Early History of Tahanun," in Seeking the Favor of God, Vol. 3: The Impact of Penitential Prayer Beyond Second Temple Judaism, eds. Mark Boda, Daniel Falk, and Rodney Werline (Society for Biblical Literature, 2008), 39-69.

"Theologies of the Land and State of Israel: The Role of the Secular in Christian and Jewish Understandings," Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 3 (2008): 1-17. Electronic Journal

Jewish-Christian Dialogue About CovenantStudies in Christian-Jewish Relations 2:2 (2007) and a response to the Rev. Dr. William Bellinger’s companion piece, “Exploring Covenant in a World of Faiths."

“Biblical Texts in Jewish Prayers: Their History and Function,” in Jewish and Christian Liturgy and Worship: New Insights into its History and Interaction, eds. Albert Gerhards and Clemens Leonhard, Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series 15 (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2007), 63-90.


Jeremy Brown, New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought (Oxford, 2013) in Theological Studies 75:3 (2014): 695.

Elisheva Carlebach and Jacob J. Schacter, eds., New Perspectives on Jewish-Christian Relations in Honor of David Berger (Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2012) in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 8 (2013),

Dirk Monshouwer, The Gospels and Jewish Worship: Bible and Synagogal Liturgy in the First Century C.E. (Skandalon, 2010) in Worship 86:2 (March 2012): 187-189.

Adiel Schremer, Brothers Estranged: Heresy, Christianity and Jewish Identity in Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2010), in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 5 (2010),

Stefan Reif, Problems with Prayers: Studies in the Textual History of Early Rabbinic Liturgy, Vol. 37 Studia Judaica, Forschungen zur Wissenschaft des Judentums (Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2006), 369 pp. + xv, in Journal of Jewish Studies 60:2 (2009): 339-340.

Yaakov Y. Teppler, Birkat HaMinim: Jews and Christians in Conflict in the Ancient World, trans. Susan Weingarten (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 4 (2009).

Forms of Prayer, I: Daily, Sabbath and Occasional Prayers, Eighth Edition (London: The Movement for Reform Judaism, 2008), European Judaism 41, no. 2 (2008): 167-172.

Uneasy Allies?: Evangelical and Jewish Relations, ed. by Alan Mittleman, Byron Johnson, and Nancy Isserman. (Lexington Books, 2007), in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 3 (2008).

Jeremy Schonfield, Undercurrents of Jewish Prayer (Oxford, Portland Oregon: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2006) in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, August, 2007.

Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), published in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, 2:1 (2007)

Prayers that Cite Scripture, ed. James L. Kugel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press for Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies, 2006), in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 2007.

Shaye J.D. Cohen, Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised?: Gender and Covenant in Judaism, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXXVII (Winter, 2007): 435-437.


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