Irreconcilable Differences? A Learning Resource for Jews and Christians

Edited by David Sandmel; Rosann M. Catalano; Christopher M. Leighton

First Edition • July 1, 2001 • 240 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813365688 • $40.00 USD$62.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786751877 • $25.99 USD$28.99 CAN


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Written by Jewish and Christian educators for use by college and adult learners, this volume explores eight basic questions that lie at the core of both traditions and that can serve as a bridge for understanding. Among the questions are: Do Jews and Christians worship the same God? Do Jews and Christians read the Bible the same way? What is the place of the land of Israel for Jews and Christians? Are the irreconcilable differences between Christians and Jews a blessing, a curse, or both? Each chapter includes discussion questions.

Rabbi David Fox Sandmel is the Jewish Scholar at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. He served as a rabbi at The Temple- Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and was the founding rabbi of Congregation Bet Ha’am in Portland, Maine. Rabbi Sandmel received his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in Jewish Studies from the Ohio State University and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania where he has been studying the history and literature of Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman world.In 998, Rabbi Sandmel joined the staff of the ICJS as the Jewish Scholar. He is currently directing the National Jewish Scholars Project, a major initiative to promote a new discussion within the Jewish community and between Jews and Christians about the differences and similarities between the two traditions. As part of the project, Rabbi Sandmel coordinated the publication of “Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity,” a groundbreaking event that generated international media coverage. He is the co-editor of Christianity in Jewish Terms (Westview, 2000), to which he has also contributed an essay.

Dr. Rosann Catalano is the Roman Catholic scholar on staff at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD. She has also served as Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University, in Baltimore, and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the Weekend College, The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, also in Baltimore. Dr. Catalano She lectures widely to Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic audiences on theological and interfaith topics.

Dr. Christopher Leighton is an ordained Presbyterian minister who has served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, Maryland since its inception in 1987. In addition to his work at the ICJS, he has been an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University.

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“Valuable for Jewish and Christian seminaries and congregations and for scholars of Jewish-Christian dialogue.”
— Religious Studies Review

”A primer on the deep historical and theological connections and disjunctions between the two faiths and as a spur to further exploration.”
— Choice

”Those of us who teach religious education need no convincing of the concerns which Christians and Jews share: teaching responsibility in a rights-oriented world, shoring up community in an age of individualism, and emphasizing giving in an era of taking. A far more difficult task is teaching what divides us theologically in an honest and respectful manner. The editors of Irreconcilable Differences have assembled a stellar array of seasoned participants of inter-religious dialogue to tackle the complex, but equally critical tasks of definition and delineation. For having done so, we teacher educators owe them our thanks.”
— Carol K. Ingall, Jewish Theological Seminary

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