Skip to content →

Episode 333 – Faith and Harmony: Exploring Jewish-Christian Relations (Dr. Karma Ben Johanan)

Picture this: It’s 1962, and Pope John XXIII convenes the Second Vatican Council. When the conference concludes, one of its most significant outcomes is a new vision for the relationship between the Christian Church and the Jewish religion. This momentous declaration rejects the long-held accusation that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death and seeks to foster understanding and reconciliation. Cut to – decades later, Dr. Karma Ben-Johanan, an Israeli researcher, would be captivated by the impact of this historical event on the Christian world. Her research would grant her one of the world’s most prestigious history prizes, the Dan David Prize, for her phenomenal achievements.

Dr. Ben-Johanan’s inquisitive mind delved deep into the subject during her doctoral studies at Tel Aviv University. She was puzzled by the idea that, in the 20th century, Jews were still a topic of concern in the Christian world. What were the origins of this guilt and the subsequent need for reconciliation? This inquiry led her on an academic journey to dismantle the complex tapestry of Jewish and Christian relations after the Second Vatican Council.

Today, we have the privilege of exploring the intricacies of Dr. Ben-Johanan’s research, discovering how the past informs the present, and understanding the fascinating dynamics between religious communities in our ever-changing world. Her work serves as an inspiration, bridging the gaps of understanding and shedding light on the complexities of interfaith relations.

Dr. Karma Ben Johanan is a senior researcher-lecturer at the department of comparative religion studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her book, ‘Jacob’s Younger Brother’ was published by Harvard University Press and is available on Amazon. We’re delighted to have her on the show today.

The book on Amazon