Jay Phillips Center Programs

What Christians Get Wrong about Judaism and Why it Matters

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Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning


This one-hour program was free, open to the public and sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University in collaboration with the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas.

“From early on in Christian history, Christians have defined Christianity in relation to the Jewish tradition from which it emerged,” said John Merkle, director of the Jay Phillips Center. “But when doing this, Christian teachers and preachers down through the centuries have often misrepresented Judaism, expressing anti-Jewish perspectives that have fostered antisemitic attitudes and behaviors.”

According to Merkle, “the result of anti-Judaism and antisemitism has not only been dire for Jews, including in the last several years in the United States where there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes, but it has also distorted Christian self-understanding and faith.

“In his lecture here, Rabbi Dulkin will focus on several things that Christians often misunderstand about Judaism and on some of the effects this has on Jews, Christians and others.”

Dulkin teaches in the theology department at the University of St. Thomas and directs the department’s recently created Encountering Judaism Initiative.

A native of California, he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature from San Francisco State University and M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in scriptural interpretation from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York City), where he also received his rabbinic ordination.

His scholarly articles have appeared in Jewish Studies Quarterly, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics and The Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions.

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