Dr. David Berger, Ruth and I. Lewis Gordon Professor of Jewish History and dean of the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, spoke on May 2 at a colloquium titled “Jesus and Judaism” hosted by the Department of Theology of the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Paula Fredriksen, Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University and distinguished visiting professor of comparative religion at Hebrew University, spoke on Jesus in his Second Temple Jewish context, in dialogue with the monumental 5-volume study of the historical Jesus (A Marginal Jew) written by Notre Dame’s Dr. John Meier, who then offered his own reflections on what he has learned (and where he has changed his mind) over the course of a career devoted to the historical Jesus. Berger followed with remarks on the topic of Jewish understandings of Jesus in later periods.

“I was honored to be included in this event,” said Berger, “since my own area of expertise is Jewish-Christian relations, and I have written in various contexts about how Jews have seen Jesus. Some of the issues I addressed in my presentation were did Jews see Jesus as an observant Jew or a violator of the Torah? As a monotheist or as an idolater? As a representative of a Jewish ethic or an ethical innovator? As I told my audience, depending on time and place, the answer is ‘all of the above.’”


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