Jump to Navigation

Resources

The Story of Judaism In The World

History can be ironic. During the birth pangs of Christianity, when the distinction between being a Jew who followed Jesus and a Jew who did not was ambiguous, early Christian leaders feared "backsliding." As a result, Church Fathers like John Chrysostom referred to synagogues as the literal home of demons, and helped create the conditions in which lay Christians could believe Jews were abducting their children. Jews were polemically labeled "Christ Killers." The resulting persecution by Christians is, then, no surprise.

Not until the 16th century did Christianity and Judaism begin to engage one another in significant ways, largely on the common ground of the emerging Enlightenment. But it was in the United States, founded not on race or ethnicity, but on an idea, that Jews have found equal footing. During the birth pangs of Islam, by contrast, there was no accusation of murderous intent, and so no initial persecution. In fact, "there seems to have been an early moment when Jews and Muslims might both have been part of the Umma, the common community of believers," according to noted Jewish historian Simon Schama, who prepared a five-part PBS series and a companion book exploring the 3,000-year history of Judaism. Later, however, a strong contention emerged between the two Abrahamic faiths, which continues to this day. A five-minute news video prepared for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a source for cutting-edge reporting at the intersection of faith and society, introduces the series. A second 13-minute video of interview outtakes further explores Schama's understanding of Jewish history and philosophy. You might also appreciate our feature article, "Best Resources for Teaching Religion."

News

News

Inspiration from the Liturgical Letter for 26th Sunday after Pentecost

Confidence in Our Creator"Lord, we take refuge in you (Psalm 16), for you listen to our despair (1 Samuel 1:4-20) and...

Practicing Gratitude

My wife and I recently relocated, which led us to visit a half-dozen churches in the past two months. Each seemed to...

2019 BAA Trailblazer of the Year named by Union Presbyterian Seminary

The Black Alumni Association (BAA) of Union Presbyterian Seminary is pleased to announce and to recognize the Rev. Dr....

Calendar

Thu, Nov 15, 2018 - 09:46 am

Popular Tools

Duke Divinity Leadership Education

 

Questions We Answer

We know that you grapple with many difficult questions as a Christian leader. We want to help. Complex concerns about ministry can’t be fully addressed here, of course, but we provide a starting point for engaging the deep issues. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please see if our partners can help or contact us.

Have more questions?

Search