While we’re sort of on the topic of Jewish-Christian relations, a wonderful lecture (ten years old) from the always-humorous and incisive Amy-Jill Levine, a Jewish feminist New Testament scholar.

Among the topic she addresses: why we need to pay attention to the differences between the Jewish and Christian canons (and why she favors “Old Testament” and “Tanakh” rather than “Hebrew Scriptures”); why Christians should stop celebrating seders; why Christians and Jews need to learn from each other.

Dabru Emet, to which she refers, may be read here. (One of its authors, I should note, was my beloved professor Rabbi Michael Signer (z”l), whose untimely death in 2009 leaves the world greatly bereft.)

9 thoughts

  1. It had never occurred to me how “in christ there is no jew or gentile” would sound to jewish ears–especially after the Shoah. wow. Thank you so much for posting this–I have learned a lot and have been given much to reflect upon and discern!

  2. it would also seem as though her claim that it doesn’t seem as though the last supper took place on passover would have some pretty hefty theological implications for christian self-understanding, no?

    1. I will, if I find more!

      I would really recommend, when you have time, reading her book The Misunderstood Jew. It’s very accessible (I plan to one day use it with undergrads), her writing voice is pretty much identical to her speaking voice (so it’s that same mixture of humor and edge), and it’s particularly important for those of us working out of feminist and liberationist commitments: she is deeply sympathetic to feminist and liberation theology, but provides a really sharp view of the anti-Judaism latent in a lot of the way that feminist and liberationist arguments are framed. Honestly, if I were ever teaching a course on feminist or liberation theology, I would include part of that book in the syllabus. She is really able to illuminate the cost to actual people of anti-Jewish rhetoric.

      Basically, I just think she’s wonderful.

    2. I mean, her self-description on her faculty website ends with “Professor Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies.”

      How could one not love her?

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