Upcoming Events

Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations Course Q&A Webinar

December 20, 2023 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Remote Event

PLEASE Join us for a brief overview of upcoming course: Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations, and some Q&A via Zoom on Wednesday, December 20 at 5:30 pm.

Register Here 

The complex and largely contentious history between Jews and Christians constitutes a significant dimension of current crises and conflicts—both abroad and here at home. Yet this difficult history isn’t the full story. Remarkable advances in understanding and collaboration reveal new hope in the possibilities of repairing and strengthening the bonds that link both traditions. In response to the relevance of the topic, Union is featuring  a course offered in the 2024 spring term, Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations, taught by Professor Mary Boys

This in-person course, offered to religiously diverse students from schools in the NY Metro area, will be offered weekly on Mondays (January 29-May 6 2024) from 9-11:50am on Union’s campus. The deadline to sign up for the course is January 11.

The standard audit fee is $600, but a reduced fee ($150) will be available by request to those for whom the higher fee would be a financial hardship. Please email David Gastwirth ([email protected]) no later than January 4 with a reduced fee request (and prior to completing the sign up form) or any other questions about the course. Learners from all religious and spiritual backgrounds are encouraged to join.

Course Information:


Jews and Christians have a long and complex relationship requiring us to grapple with what has been termed a “tormented” history. As “two nations in [one] womb” (Israel Jacob Yuval), our traditions experienced a protracted, complicated and often fractious process by which they ultimately emerged in relation to one another. Grappling with this history is essential to reimagining a relation in the present characterized by mutual respect and commitment to a peaceful and just world.

This course on Jewish-Christian relations engages us in two cases in interreligious/intercultural conflict and reconciliation. The first reveals how cultural and religious differences gave rise to disparagement of the other, and how power imbalances and societal tensions fueled binary oppositional identity, often with tragic consequences. This case involves delving into the origins and development of anti-Jewish teachings that became embedded in church life and contributed significantly to antisemitism. The second case, still very much in process, documents the developing—and somewhat marginal—transformation of relations between Jews and Christians in the past 60 years, not simply through the many instances of scholarly collaboration but also among those committed to interreligious/intercultural dialogue.

A course such as this would be inconceivable for most of the two millennia of relations between our traditions, so it is a sign of hope that Jews and Christians today can engage in learning in the presence of the other.

Course Goals:

  • To analyze key developments in Jewish-Christian relations, with emphasis on scholarship that presents an alternative to conventional understandings of the first centuries of the Common Era that serve as a resource to reorient thinking.
  • To draw upon the wealth of resources by Jewish and Christian scholars, including books, articles, open-access journals, encyclopedias, films, and lectures.
  • To engage participants in the issues involving Jews and Christians relevant to their own religious and cultural contexts, including the current war between Israel and Hamas.
  • To provide opportunities for participants to interact with one another and to collaborate so as to foster greater knowledge and understanding.