Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard presents a talk by Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner, followed by a book signing of their recent book, Classical Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: Comparing Theologies, on Monday, December 13. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. A book signing by the Bard College Bookstore will follow the lecture. “This book offers direct communication between Judaism and Christianity on the key issues between them,” states Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester. “It does so by means of a pattern of exchange that is consistently pursued through all the key aspects. Not just a contribution to dialogue, but a refreshing and scholarly way of doing it.” Released by Baker Academic in December 2004, Classical Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism is the 11th collaborative book by Bard professors Neusner and Chilton that explores Judeo-Christian comparative studies. “Among the world’s religions, Christianity and Judaism are the most symmetrical: They have a common foundation, tell a single story, originate in the Hebrew Scriptures of ancient Israel, and share a commitment to many of the revelations of those Scriptures,” advises Professor Neusner. “But in our day of religious tolerance, there is a tendency to overlook or even disregard the vital differences between the two religions in the name of goodwill, thus undermining the chance for constructive Jewish-Christian dialogue and true theological engagement.” Professor Chilton notes that, “In Classical Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: Comparing Theologies, we seek to acknowledge the differences between Christianity and Judaism and, more importantly, bring them to the clearest possible expression.” For further information, call the Institute office at 845-758-7279 or e-mail # Bruce Chilton—executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion, and chaplain of the College—is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism and the author of the first critical translation of the Aramaic version of Isaiah (The Isaiah Targum, 1987). He has written academic studies that put Jesus in his Jewish context (Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, 2000; Pure Kingdom, 1996; The Temple of Jesus, 1992; and The Galilean Rabbi and His Bible, 1984). Doubleday recently released his book Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography, which is a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, History Book Club, American Compass, and Reader’s Subscription. Chilton has taught in Europe at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and Münster, and in the United States at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament) and Bard College. Throughout his career, he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church; he is currently rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York. Jacob Neusner, senior fellow of Bard’s Institute of Advanced Theology and Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard, received a Ph.D. in religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and a rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also holds seven honorary doctorates and numerous other academic honors. He has published more than 975 books and articles. He has taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida, among others. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, in England. Neusner was president of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the founding committee of the Association for Jewish Studies, and founder of the European Association of Jewish Studies. He served on the National Council on the Humanities under President Carter and National Council on the Arts under President Reagan. Neusner’s research professorship at Bard College is supported, in part, by a grant from the Tisch Family Foundation of New York City. The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship, which aims to make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute’s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute and Bard College. # # # (11/23/04)

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This event was last updated on 12-16-2004