Fall 2020 Newsletter
Dear Friends of the Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies: 

I hope this newsletter finds you healthy in this difficult time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our fall program will take place online. On Sunday, November 8th, the CCJS presents a special livestreamed panel of scholars, entitled The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and Nostra Aetate: An Old Story and its New Horizons. The panel features Sr. Celia Deutsch, Research Scholar at Barnard College, coordinator of her order’s international team for Jewish-Christian Relations, and the 16th recipient of the CCJS Eternal Light Award. Panelists will discuss their efforts to extend the Sisters of Sion's interfaith work in Africa, and the significance of Nostra Aetate's call to interreligious dialogue in a global context.

More detail about the panelists and registration for the online program is below. You can also find recent faculty news, and an announcement of the first CCJS scholarly symposium set to take place in the spring.

I hope you can join us November 8th. To our Jewish friends, I wish you a good and sweet new year.


Dr. Matthew Tapie
Assistant Professor of Theology &
Director, Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies 

The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and Nostra Aetate:
An Old Story and its New Horizons

SUNDAY, NOV. 8th, 2 - 4 pm
In August of 2019, Sr. Celia Deutsch returned to Holy Trinity College, Harare, Zimbabwe, as part of the Sisters of Sion’s Itinerant Ministry, a program that takes the work of interfaith understanding to countries where there is no permanent Sion presence. In September, Rabbi David Sandmel joined her to team-teach lectures on the Gospel of Matthew, lecture in other universities and parish groups, and meet with local Jewish communities. They worked closely with Fr. Sylvester Kansimbi, Holy Trinity College Rector and faculty member, and Dr. Julias Togarepi, coordinator of the faculty of theology at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe. During the CCJS's special livestreamed panel on November 8, Deutsch, Sandmel, Kansimbi, and Togarepi will discuss the history of the Sisters of Sion’s efforts to help produce Nostra Aetate, and the significance of interreligious dialogue in a global context. The program will conclude with the Eternal Light Award ceremony, led by Rabbi James Rudin, co-founder of the CCJS.
Panel Participants
Sr. Celia Deutsch is a Sister of Our Lady of Sion, a small international Roman Catholic religious congregation with a presence in five continents. She is the coordinator of her order’s international team for Jewish-Christian Relations. Dr. Deutsch is also Research Scholar in the Religion Department at Barnard College, NY, where she taught from 1987-2012. Deutsch's research focuses on early Jewish and Christian social and religious/intellectual history. She is engaged in interfaith work in local, national, and international contexts, and is a member of the Theology Committee of the International Council of Christians and Jews. Dr. Deutsch delivered the 26th Monsignor John M. Oesterreicher Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in October 2019. She is also the sixteenth recipient of the CCJS Eternal Light Award.
Fr. Sylvester Kansimbi is a Spiritan priest and faculty member of Holy Trinity College in Harare, Zimbabwe. Fr. Kansimbi is also the former Rector of the seminary there. He is the author of Living the Spiritan Missionary Charism in the Contemporary South African Context, and he serves on the editorial board of the scholarly journal The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, published by the Catholic University of Zimbabwe.
Rabbi Dr. David Fox Sandmel has served as Director of Interreligious Engagement at the Anti-Defamation League since 2014. From 2003-2014, he held the Crown-Ryan Chair in Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, there he team-taught a course with an Imam and a Catholic theologian on the three traditions, and co-led interfaith visits to Israel and Palestine. As Judaic Scholar at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, he led the drafting of “Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity.” He is vice-chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultation. 
Dr. Julias Togarepi is the coordinator of the theology faculty at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, an M.A. in Theology with specialization in Sacred Liturgy, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, a B.A. in Theology from Chishawasha major Seminary, a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe, and a Diploma in Philosophy from St. Augustine Seminary, Zimbabwe.

NOTE: Online registration and a Zoom account are required. 
Spring 2021 Symposium: Catholic Theologies of Jews and Judaism and the Challenge of Theological Dialogue

Over the last decade, several Catholic theologians have published constructive theological works directly addressing some of the topics identified as important for study and dialogue by the Vatican in its 2015 document, “The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable.” These themes include the relation of the election of Israel to the universality of salvation in Christ, the nature and extent of the Church’s mission, and the affirmation that God’s covenant with the Jewish people has never been revoked, including the status of the land of Israel as an aspect of that covenant. The theme of the “unrevoked covenant” is also connected to the question of whether, or in what sense, historic Christian doctrine and theology can rightly be characterized as supersessionist, and what the implications of a decision about this question are for contemporary Christian and Jewish theological reflection. These works devote attention to the Church and Christology, engage Jewish voices, and exhibit a respect for rabbinic Judaism. CCJS's Spring Symposium aims to provide a space for Catholic theologians to discuss with Jewish scholars these recent proposals. The symposium will gather 10-12 scholars, each of whom will contribute a paper for discussion. Papers will then be published in an edited volume, making the research available to the scholarly community and public. More details will be announced in the January Newsletter.
Faculty News

Dr. Tapie to speak at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. has invited Dr. Tapie to speak at an online symposium on October 19-21. The symposium, entitled “Unsettled Questions and New Directions: The Vatican and the Holocaust,” will focus especially on the newly opened archives of Pius XII.

Dr. Tapie joins USCCB's Catholic and Jewish Modern Orthodox Dialogue
Over the summer, Fr. Walter F. Kedjierski, the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, invited Dr. Tapie to become a member of the U.S. Bishops’ Official Dialogue with Modern Orthodox Judaism. Members of the dialogue have met via Zoom once his year. A third meeting is set for December 2020.

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