Tuesday, June 28, 2005


One of my favorite courses at Catholic U. was titled Issues in Interreligious Encounter. Toward the end of the semester we had a guest lecturer, Rabbi Blank, who along with being a rabbi was also a psychotherapist. Rabbi Blank expressed extreme distaste for the phrase "Judeo-Christian," since in his opinion there was nothing truly tying Judaism to Christianity, the latter's theology and ecclesiology having fundamentally diverged from the former's.

I disagree with Rabbi Blank because I see plenty of Jewish tropes woven through the New Testament. The Catholic Church also retains rituals and a liturgical style that call to mind old Jewish rituals. If any Christians have diverged from the Jewish path, ritologically speaking, it's Protestants. In their attempt to "get back to the roots," Protestants have, ironically, missed by a mile. As my pastor once said to me, "Jesus wouldn't recognize today's Christianity."

Of course, as my pastor knows only too well: Jesus was Jewish.


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