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The theology of Christian-Jewish relations


This module focuses on how Christians began to develop a positive relationship to Jews replacing the ‘theology of contempt’ which treated Judaism as part of the pre-history of Christianity.

Topics covered

  • The Parting of the Ways
  • Christian Responses to Judaism
  • Jewish Responses to Christianity
  • Reading Michael Wyschogrod
  • Jewish Responses to the Holocaust.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss issues for Jews and Christians in the parting of the ways in the first century CE.
  • Evaluate issues relating to the presence of anti-Jewish sentiments in the New Testament.
  • Discuss the features of Rabbinic Judaism and the place of Torah in Jewish life.
  • Evaluate issues in the theology of supersessionism and the Christian theological negation of Judaism.
  • Discuss recent Christian theological approaches to Judaism.
  • Discuss recent Jewish theological approaches to Christianity.
  • Evaluate issues for the Jewish people relating to Dabru Emet.
  • Present and evaluate the ideas of Franz Rosenzweig about Judaism and Christianity.


Three-hour examination

Indicative reading list

  • R. Bauckham, "The Parting of the Ways: What Happened and Why" in Studia Theologica 47 (1993) pp. 135-151.
  • Raymond Brown and John P. Meier, Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Catholic Christianity (Chapman, 1983).
  • James D. G. Dunn, The Partings of the Ways: Between Christianity and Judaism and their Significance for the Character of Christianity (London, SCM Press: 1991).
  • H. Fry, Christian-Jewish Dialogue (University of Exeter Press, 1996).
  • D. Novak, Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification (OUP, 1989).
  • Franz Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption (University of Notre Dame Press, 1985).
  • C. Thoma, A Christian Theology of Judaism (Paulist Press, 1980).
  • M. Wyschogrod, ‘Israel, the church and Election’, in Abraham’s Promise: Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations (Eerdnabsm 2004) pp. 179-187.