THEO 393: Seminar in Ecclesia & Synagoga
THEO 393 Ecclesia and Synagoga:
The foundational meaning of the Christian-Jewish Encounter for Christian self-understanding
Instructor: Prof. Philipp G. Renczes, S.J.
Piazza della Pilotta, 4
cell phone: 347/5220075
Office: JFRC, 103
Office Hours: Monday 5:45 - 6:45 p.m. Students who wish to see me during this hour may schedule an appointment with me beforehand (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, arrangement for informal conversations outside class concerning matters from the course can be made.
By way of a comparison of the formative period of Christianity in the Jewish-Greco/Roman culture of the centuries I-V with the renewed understanding, manifest in the Catholic Church's stance toward Judaism since the promulgation of the declaration "Nostra Aetate" in 1965 at the II Vatican Council, this class will examine the complex, yet vital theological character of the relationship which links Christianity to Judaism. Students who take this course will: (1) familiarize themselves with primary texts, learning to apply the relevant tools of critical analysis to the various kinds of documents covered in the course; (2) analyze and evaluate secondary literature; (3) synthesize the major elements of the material covered in the course; (4) learn to question, confirm, validate, and/or correct individually held uncritical attitudes.
(1) Students will become acquainted with a selection of foundational Christian Scripture texts (Gospel of John; Pauline letters) as well as theological literature of various genres ("apologetics", "polemics", "dialogue") of the patristic period and present time, in order to gain a knowledge of the paths Christian communities have taken toward a theology of self-identity in relationship to their origin, Judaism. Through these texts the students will approach and become further sensitized to the common pool of theological terminology and belief statements that is the source for mutual antagonism and dialogue, ultimately underscoring the role of historical and present-day Judaism as an indispensable source of Christian Self-Understanding.
(2) Students will demonstrate knowledge of the historical contexts of biblical and patristic texts, in order to distinguish specific polemics that have grown out of particular events ranging from universal accusations to systematic theological declarations. Moreover, students will become aware of the fundamental distinctions and, at the same time, close relationships between a religious text, the story of its reception in a religious community, and the doctrinal interpretation the text receives.
(3) Students will be able to critically analyze the process of development, clarification and distinction of the Church's stance towards Jews and Judaism, thereby opening perspectives for the future of Christian identity in dialogue with other religions.
(4) Students will be able to understand the intrinsic character of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity as a question of Christian self-identity, demonstrate knowledge of and the capacity to articulate a sufficiently mature and well-educated understanding of the historical and doctrinal texts dealing with the Christian posture toward Judaism, and develop an ability to reflect upon the applications of his/her beliefs or faith traditions concerning the Christian-Jewish relationship to decisions in his/her personal, professional, and civic life.
- Edward Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
- Weekly reading assignments made available on BLACKBOARD
Requirements for the Course and Evaluation:
Regular attendance (unless you have prior permission from the instructor, the Rome Center direction, or a documented medical condition) and active participation in class discussions are expected. Active participation in discussions depends on the completion of the weekly reading assignments. Questions will usually be included in the assignments to guide your reading of the texts, help you ask your own question, and facilitate discussion in class. Class will consist of an introductory lecture and the discussion of the primary texts and secondary literature. All class lectures will be found on Blackboard of the Loyola website. Students are expected to bring the photocopies of the required sources to classes in order to participate in class discussions.
The mid-term and final examinations, covering material in the assigned reading and the lectures, will each count for 1/3 of the final grade, leaving the last 1/3 for a term paper of 8-10 pages including bibliography. Paper topics must be approved in advance by the instructor. Active participation in all stages will be taken into account for the final grade.
A 93-100; A- 90-92, B+ 87-89; B 83-86; B- 80-82; C+ 77-79; C 73-76; C- 70-72; D+ 67-69; D 60-66; F = below 60. Determination of grades ultimately resides in the judgment of the instructor; however, if you ever feel that you have been graded inaccurately, please come to see me.
SCHEDULE OF LESSONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Jan. 14 (I) Introduction to the course
Distinguishing qualities of this class; introduction to the notions of "ecclesia" and
"synagoga" in the New Testament.
A "Sign of our time" : The Christian-Jewish Dialogue
Jan. 21 (II) Ecclesia changing since Vatican II
Required Readings: “Introduction”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 1-24
Nostra Aetate (1965)
Pope John Paul II: Allocution in the Great Roman Synagogue (April 13, 1986)
Pope Benedict XVI: Allocution in the Synagogue of Cologne (August 19, 2005)
Recommended Readings: “Signposts” since Vatican II in Catholic-Jewish Relations
Jan 28 (III) Ecclesia changing with regards to the First Testament
Required Readings: “Biblical interpretation”: Another side to the story, in E. Kessler, Jewish- Christian Relations, pp. 81-101.
The Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible (Part A and B I), 2002
"The Parting of the Ways": The New Testament Writings
Feb 04 (IV) The Gospel of John: conflicts and controversies
Required Readings: “The New Testament”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 25-44.
Extracts of the Gospel of John
Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John : a commentary (volume 1), 214-228
Feb 11 (V) Paul the Pharisee
Required Readings: St. Paul, Letter to the Philippians (Ch. 3)
St. Paul, Letter to the Galatians
SIDIC, Law - A way of life. Vol. XIX, no° 3, 8-17
Recommended Reading: Daniel R. Langton, The Myth of the 'Traditional View of Paul' and the Role of the Apostle in Modern Jewish-Christian Polemics
Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew, Paul and the Politics of Identity, 39-56
"The Recognition of the parted Ways : The Patristic Period
Feb 18 (VI) The historical evaluation of the anti-Judaism of the Church Fathers
Required Readings: “The writings of the church fathers”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 45-64
“The writings of the rabbis”, in in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 65- 80
James D. G. Dunn, The Parting of the ways, 230-259
Annette Yoshiko Reed & Adam H. Becker; The Ways that never parted. Traditional Models and New Directions, 1-33
Recommended Reading: Paula Fredriksen, What “Parting of the Ways”? Jews, Gentiles, and the Ancient Mediterranean City, 35- 63
Feb 25 (VII) MID-TERM EXAMINATION
Mar 11 (VIII) Christian dialogue as apologetic: Justin the Martyr
Required Readings: Quasten, Patrology 197-203 / Justin the Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 1, 8-30, 45- 47, 130-136, 142
Justin the Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 1, 8-30, 45-47, 130-136, 142
Mar 15 (IX) Judaism in the Golden Age of Patristic theology: Augustine of Hippo
Required Readings: Augustine, City of God, 18.46-48. Contra Faustus, Book 12
Paula Fredriksen, “Excaecati Occulta Justitia Dei: Augustine on Jews and Judaism.”, Journal of Early Christian Studies 3 (1995), 299-324
Recommended Reading: Jason Byasse, “Allegory and the Jews”, Praise seeking Understanding, 149-193
LAST DATE FOR APPROVAL OF TERM PAPER TOPICS
"The Regognition of the inseparable parted Ways": "Jewish" Themes of Christian Theology
Mar 18 (X) The Covenant that has never been revoked
Required Readings: Ruth Langer, “Jewish-Christian Dialogue about Covenant”, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 2 (2007), Artikel 26
William Bellinger, “Response to: Jewish-Christian Dialogue about Covenant”, Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 2 (2007), Article 27
Irving Greenberg, “Judaism and Christianity: Covenants of Redemption”, Christianity in Jewish Terms, 141-158.
R. Kendall Soulen “Israel and the Church: A Christian Response to Irving Greenberg’s Covenantal Pluralism”, Christianity in Jewish Terms, 167-174
Apr 25 (XI) One God, One Lord: Christological perspectives arising from the Christian-Jewish dialogue
Requrired Readings: Philip A. Cunningham, “A Covenantal Christology”, in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, 41-52
Steven Kepnes, “‘Turn us to You and We shall Return’: Original Sin, Atonement, and Redemption in Jewish Terms, Christianity in Jewish Terms, 293-304
Laurie Zoloth, “Exile and Return in a World of Injustice, A Response to Steven Kepnes”, Christianity in Jewish Terms, 305-312
Miroslav Volf, “The Lamb of God and the Sin of the World”, Christianity in Jewish Terms, 313-319
TERM PAPER DUE ON THIS DATE
Apr 08 (XII) Post-Holocaust Dialogues
Required Readings: “Antisemitism and the Holocaust”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 124-146
Steven T. Katz, “Emil Fackenheim on Jewish life after Auschwitz”, in Post-Holocaust Dialogues. Critical Studies in Modern Jewish Thought, New York 1983, 205-247
Michael Morgan, “The Reception of Jewish Thought”, in Beyond Auschwitz: post-Holocaust Jewish thought in America, Oxtord 2001, 196-218
Benedict XVI, Address on his visit to the Auschwitz Camp 28/05/2006
Recommended Reading: Isaac C. Rottenberg, “The Holocaust and Belief in a God of Holy Love” (ch. 8) and “The Holocaust and the Development of Church Doctrine” (ch. 9), Christian-Jewish Dialogue: Exploring our commonalities and our differences, 89-103
Apr 15 (XIII) "Understanding the Brother: regaining of “Self-Identity” in the “You- Identity"
Required Readings: “Zionism and the state of Israel”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 147169.
“Jewish-Christian relations and the wider interfaith encounter”, in E. Kessler, Jewish-Christian Relations, pp. 191-211
Leon Klenicki, “On Christianity: towards a process of historical and spiritual healing. Understanding the other as a person of God”, in SIDIC, Vol. XXIV, no°2, 25-41
Christian M. Rutishauser, “Jewish-Christian Dialogue and the Theology of Religions”, in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, 53-66.
Recommended Reading: Joseph Ratzinger, (Pope Benedict XVI) “Interreligious Dialogue and Jewish-Christian Relations” in Communio 25 (1998): 29-41 http://www.communio-icr.com/
To be determined by the JFRC
FINAL EXAMINATION (as scheduled by the JFRC)
Some suggested Research Paper Topics:
- Locating Jesus among the three major Second Temple groups
- Gospel of John: intra-Jewish conflict or anti-Jewish polemic?
- Paul and the Mosaic Law
- Paul and Universalism of salvation vs. Jeswish particularism
- The perception of Jews in Christian texts in late antiquity
- Post-Holocaust Reconsturctions of the Jesish-Christian Relationship in Jewish and Christian theological works
- Christian theological topics (justice, law, election, faithfulness...) in the light of Jewish spirituality
- moving from Dialectic to Dialogue in post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian relations