Jews and Christians: Rejecting Stereotypes, Forging New Relationships

Lecture by Rabbi Norman Cohen and response by Susan Stabile

Date & Time:

Thursday, November 19, 2015
3:25 PM - 3:25 PM
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7:00 p.m.


Woulfe Alumni Hall North (378A), Anderson Student Center
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

Free and open to the public

Rabbi Norman Cohen recognizes that relationships between Jews and Christians have improved significantly in recent decades, particularly in the United States.  Yet he also points out that too few Jews and Christians have engaged in serious study and dialogue about each other’s tradition.  “The time has come to move into theological and substantive learning,” says Rabbi Cohen, but “standing in the way are the stereotypes and misconceptions that each community harbors about the other’s beliefs and practices.”  In this program, Rabbi Cohen will confront these stereotypes and misconceptions head-on and suggest what to do about them to promote more respectful and meaningful dialogue and understanding.  Susan Stabile will offer a response from her Christian perspective.

Rabbi Norman Cohen is senior rabbi of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, a position he has held since the congregation’s founding in 1981.  His engagement in interfaith learning with Christians goes back to his college years at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he graduated with honors in 1972.  He earned his master’s degree from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1975 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of divinity there in 2001.  Rabbi Cohen returns to Holy Cross College every year to serve as chaplain and advisor to Jewish students and faculty, and he also visits Hebrew Union College as a teacher in practical rabbinics.  He has been an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities in Ohio and Minnesota, including St. Catherine University and St. Olaf College, and also at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.  He has authored numerous magazine and newspaper articles and the book Jewish Bible Personages in the New Testament (University Press of America, 1989).  He is currently working on a new book, tentatively titled Stereotypes and Misconceptions that Christians and Jews Have about Each Other and What to do about Them.   

Susan Stabile, J.D.,
 is professor of law and faculty fellow for spiritual life at the University of St. Thomas and an adjunct instructor in theology at St. Catherine University.  She earned a B.A. at Georgetown University and a J.D. at New York University School of Law.  Among the nation’s leading experts on the intersection of Catholic social thought and the law, she is also a spiritual director and retreat leader trained in the Ignatian tradition.  She served as a member of the adjunct ministerial staff of St. Ignatius Retreat House in New York before moving to the Twin Cities, and she offers individual spiritual direction and conducts retreats, adult faith formation classes, and other programs at Catholic parishes and in other venues in the Twin Cities and beyond.  Among her many publications is Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation (Oxford University Press, 2013) and she authors the blog Creo en Dios! on which she posts spiritual reflections and podcasts.

Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning in collaboration with Professor Carissa Wyant's class on "Christianity and World Religions" at the University of St. Thomas


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