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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

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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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