About us

Christian-Jewish Dialogue

This web site, sponsored by the International Council of Christians and Jews, is dedicated to a special relationship. It is not about Christianity or Judaism per se, but about the development of a new understanding between the two communities after a long history of animosity.

In many cities all over the world, Jews and Christians have been talking with each other. Christian-Jewish dialogues have enabled Christians to appreciate anew the Jewishness of Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament, as well as to learn about the vitality of Jewish life and thought today. Jews, in turn, have learned about the many varieties of Christian thought and practice, and about the urgent efforts that Christians have been making to purge their faith of every vestige of "the teaching of contempt." Very frequently, participants in such dialogues report that their own faith is strengthened and clarified by the experience.

The Christian-Jewish dialogue, which began in many places all over North America and Europe after World War II, gained momentum in the late sixties and in the seventies. In the early stages of the dialogue, most Jews were primarily interested in discussing the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust. Many Christians, on the other hand, wanted to discuss theological topics and to measure their understanding of Scripture against Jewish interpretations. While this asymmetry in the dialogue can still be felt, there has been a tremendous growth towards mutuality in the eighties and nineties. Both sides are interested in understanding both the faith and the life experiences of the other, and in finding ways that they can work together for peace and justice in the world.

There has been a serious rethinking in Christian theology and teaching about the Jews and Judaism, as shown in a vast body of scholarship. This is reflected in many of the articles and book reviews as well as the numerous statements by official church bodies that are included on this site. On the Jewish side, there has also been a reevaluation of Jewish positions toward Christianity. Changes are taking place, and while there may be pain involved, there is also excitement in a growing vision of God's purpose with both communities.

This web site intends both to document and to foster this ongoing process. It currently has sections in five languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, as well as occasional items in other languages. The site is growing constantly as people involved in the dialogue make articles and other resources available.

Some additional information about the history of this web site: