We are two concerned Catholics, members of the church in good standing, who write and work as lay members of the Church. That is, we claim no authority such as is claimed by the bishops, nor such scholarly authority as might belong to the Catholic Biblical Association, the Society of Biblical Literature, or the Catholic Theological Society of America. As concerned lay members of the Church, however, we have a responsibility for the good of the Church which nourishes us. In this we are following the mandate of the Second Vatican Council, which teaches that “ . . . the laity are empowered—indeed sometimes obligated–to make known . . . their opinion on those things which pertain to the good of the Church. (Lumen Gentium, #37, and Can. 212.3).
NOTE: This website is a work in progress. You may not find our suggestions for a specific lectionary reading. We continue to update the website, so please check back later on.
Richard K. Taylor comes to this enterprise with ten years of “on-the-ground” experience of working with the cooperative clergy of his parish on this issue of the danger of certain potentially anti-Jewish readings from the Sunday Lectionary. Coming from a Quaker as well as a Catholic background, he has worked effectively in and written extensively about social and racial justice, civil rights, peace, and non-violence. He has a degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College, held a Rockefeller Fellowship at Yale Divinity School, has taught at Crozer Theological Seminary, and was for many years Coordinator of Ministry Development at his parish. In addition to earlier books and dozens of magazine articles, his most recent book is Love in Action. The National Catholic Reporter published his essay, “Why I Am Still Catholic” (10/01/2004), which has been widely circulated and read.
David P. Efroymson, Ph.D is a retired university professor with long practical and academic interest in Christian anti-Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations more generally, especially as they bear on understanding the New Testament and the early church. His Ph.D. is from Temple University (“Tertullian’s Anti-Judaism and Its Role in His Theology”). He has taught courses on the issue, as well as courses on the New Testament, early Christianity, and various theological and ecumenical issues. He has co-edited Within Context: Essays on Jews and Judaism in the New Testament, and written several articles and book reviews on the issue. He is currently at work on a study of the (negative) treatment of “the Jews” of John’s Gospel at the hands of certain prominent Fathers of the Church.
Behind us stands the American Interfaith Institute (A. I. I,), founded in the 1980’s by Irvin J. Borowsky to develop “a sound, honest, and informed relationship” between Jews and Christians, and to attempt “to bridge the gaping chasm” that separates us. To this end, Borowsky and the Institute sponsored symposia of world-renowned scholars, published several books on Jewish-Christian relations (the most relevant are listed in our bibliography), and for many years edited a widely-read and universally-respected newsletter, Explorations. He worked long and hard with the American Bible Society, toward the completion of their religiously sensitive contemporary translation of the Bible, the Contemporary English Version.
It is the expertise and the resources of A. I. I. which created and formatted this website. The Institute is housed in the National Liberty Museum at 321 Chestnut, Philadelphia 19106.