“Building mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation among Jews, Catholics, and all people of good will by providing opportunities for interfaith education and dialogue.”
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|In This Issue|
|UPDATES & NEWS NOTES|
|Understanding Advent and Christmas|
|Nostra Aetate Resources|
|Theology in Rabbinic Stories Event|
|Remember CCJS in Your Holiday Gift List|
Early Christmas and Hanukkah Greetings to our many CCJS Friends and E-Letter subscribers!! I join with our wonderful CCJS staff members, Jane Bracken and Thomas Poynor, to wish each of you and your families a happy and holy holiday season.
In this December 2009 E-Letter we will update you regarding recent CCJS activities serving clergy, congregations, classrooms, and the community at large in both in Florida, and through our expanding website community. Below, you will find updates on news items of interest in Catholic-Jewish relations, as well as our continuing series providing information and resources on the history and legacy of Nostra Aetate.
To help us all better prepare for the holy days ahead, we are providing useful links that address the Catholic observance of Advent and Christmas, and the Jewish observance of Hanukkah. This time of year offers both of our communities the opportunity to grow in knowledge and respect for one another's religious history and practices-what we share and how we differ. We thank Dr. Philip A. Cunningham, Professor of Catholic-Jewish Relations and director of the Jewish-Catholic Institute of Saint Joseph's University, and our own Rabbi A. James Rudin for their contributions to this section.
Finally, we want to send a special thank you to the many new CCJS Friends who have responded to our monthly E-Letters, including students, priests, deacons, rabbis, and teachers from as far away as Canada, Minnesota, New Jersey, and California. We appreciate your encouragement and suggestions. CCJS relies upon the generosity of our Friends and supporters to continue serving our mission "building mutual respect, understanding and appreciation among Jews, Christians, and all people of good will by providing opportunities for interfaith education and dialogue."
We at the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University wish everyone a blessed holy days season and all happiness for the New Year.
Linda S. Taggart, M.A.
Director and Adjunct Professor of Theology and Religion
UPDATES AND NEWS NOTES:
CCJS was represented at the November 2009 Annual Meeting of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR) hosted this year by Dr. Alan Berger and the Center for the Study of Values and Violence after Auschwitz at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Linda Taggart and CCJS board member, Michael Murphy, were privileged to represent CCJS at the CCJR annual meeting, a collegial and educational gathering for the leadership of the Council's member organizations. Dr. Alan Berger (FAU), Dr. George Gilmore (Spring Hill College), and Linda Taggart were the featured speakers on the panel discussion titled, "The View From Here: Christian-Jewish Relations in the Gulf States."
CCJS Tampa Partnership Program: CCJS's Linda Taggart and the Franciscan Center Scholars Forum presented a lunch and learn lecture program titled, "Sacred Stories, Holy Books: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." The weekday program attracted more than 40 participants from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths for the introductory lecture and discussion. Hosted by Sister Cathy Cahill, O.S.F., Franciscan Center Director and past member of the CCJS board of directors, participants enjoyed an intensive study session and a delicious lunch at the serene riverfront retreat just minutes from bustling downtown Tampa. Participants have already requested a follow-up session now scheduled at the Franciscan Center on January, 13, 2010.
Rabbi A. James Rudin, CCJS founder and board member, presented two lectures in Massachusetts at Gordon College's symposium, "Exploring the Psalms with the Rabbis." Rabbi Rudin was among four esteemed scholars included in the two day conference organized by Professor Marvin R. Wilson, author of "Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith" (Eerdmans 1989). Rabbi Rudin concluded Gordon College's lecture series with his talk, "Psalms in the Collective Experience of the Jewish People." Rabbi Rudin has been a colleague of Dr. Wilson's for many years and has coordinated four national conferences for Evangelicals and Jews, two of which were held at Gordon College. Rabbi Rudin also presented a lecture on "Christian-Jewish Relations in America: Forty Years in Retrospect." Link here
USCCB: WASHINGTON - Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been named Moderator of Jewish Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops succeeding Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop-emeritus of Baltimore, in that role. An excerpt follows:
UNDERSTANDING ADVENT and CHRISTMAS 2009
Additionally, because of the shared Scripture readings included in the Advent liturgies, the Advent period presents challenges in the context of Catholic-Jewish understanding. How are Christians to understand and interpret their Old Testament readings during Advent in light of the revelation of Christ? Dr. Cunningham recommends consulting the following document for guidance: "God's Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching," written by the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Sunday, September 18, 1988.
Advent: The Relationship between the Scriptures
9. As Catholic homilists know, the liturgical year presents both opportunities and challenges. One can show the parallels between the Jewish and Catholic liturgical cycles. And one can, with clarity, confront misinterpretations of the meaning of the lectionary readings, which have been too familiar in the past. Specifically, homilists can guide people away from a triumphalism that would equate the pilgrim Church with the Reign of God, which is the Church's mission to herald and proclaim. Likewise, homilists can confront the unconscious transmission of anti-Judaism through clichés that derive from an unhistorical overgeneralization of the self-critical aspects of the story of Israel as told in the Scriptures (e.g., "hardheartedness" of the Jews, 'blindness," "legalism," "materialism," "rejection of Jesus," etc.). From Advent through Passover/Easter, to Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, the Catholic and Jewish liturgical cycles spiral around one another in a stately progression of challenges to God's people to repent, to remain faithful to God's call, and to prepare the world for the coming of God's Reign. While each is distinct and unique, they are related to one another. Christianity is engrafted on and continues to draw sustenance from the common root, biblical Israel (Rom 11:13-24).
UNDERSTANDING HANUKKAH 2009
For the Jewish community, Hanukkah will begin at sundown on Friday, December 11, 2009. We recommend that you click on the following link to the America Magazine website and read Rabbi Rudin's 2006 article, "Festival of Lights." In this detailed and insightful article, Rabbi Rudin shares the wonderful history of the Hanukkah tradition, including an interesting connection to the Roman Catholic bible.
NOSTRA AETATE RESOURCES
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the leader of Archdiocese of New York City, and Arnold M. Eisen, Ph.D., seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, acknowledged a secular crisis that sees generations of faithful teenagers and young adults in America drifting away from the religions of their birth.
"Salvation from the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth," Rev. Norbert Hofmann, S.D.B., Secretary, Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, L'Osservatore Romano (21 March 2007).
SAVE THE DATE
Cannon Memorial Library
Presenters include Tampa's Rabbi Frank Sundheim-rabbinic scholar and guest lecturer at Saint Leo University, USF, and the University of Tampa-and Saint Leo University's own Deacon Dr. William Ditewig, Catholic theologian and director of Saint Leo University's Master of Theology program. Linda S. Taggart, director of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Saint Leo University will serve as moderator for the session.
Theology in Rabbinic Stories is highly recommended for use in interfaith education and dialogue programs.
"Christians and Jews can profit immensely from this delightful book of assorted theological vignettes....Pearl's Christian readership will have a deeper appreciation of the Jewish roots of Christianity and the impact that Jewish studies can have on the thought and life of today's church. I highly recommend this book for those who want to deepen their understanding of the biblical text." Dr. Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1989).
For details regarding publication link here.
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