A feminist interpretation of Pinchas Lapide's Jewish theology of Christianity as a model for Christian self -understanding

Joy Elizabeth Galarneau, Fordham University


In the late twentieth century Jews and Christians found themselves standing in the dawn of a new era. Precipitated by the shattering events of the Second World War, particularly the Shoah, Christians began to self-critically evaluate the centuries of religious, political and societal oppression they had practiced toward the Jewish people. This led many Christians to develop and revise theologies of self and Judaism, cleansed of anti-Judaic elements. In turn it led many Jews to revaluate their conceptions of Christianity. Within the new culture of dialogue that accompanied and guided this mutual shift in theological thinking, a conviction emerged among Christians and Jews alike that the self-definition of Christianity can only be reached in dialogue with Jews and Judaism. Today Jews and Christians still find themselves with much theological work left to do to overcome their traumatic past and ensure a future of ever-increasing positive relationships with one another. The recognition of these successes and unfinished tasks frames and directs this dissertation. In this project I explore Pinchas Lapide's Jewish theology of Christianity, critically and constructively engaging his examination of Christianity with the lens of feminist theology, which opens a new possibility for morally responsible theology in our post-Shoah, pluralistic world. My thesis is that, when critically informed by feminist insights regarding religious identity and interreligious dialogue, Pinchas Lapide's Jewish theology of Christianity can serve as a model for Christian self-understanding. As a result of its method and the feminist theoretical resources upon which it draws, this dissertation moves from presentation through critical analysis to retrieval and finally to revision and new vision. It begins by presenting the community of scholarship to which Pinchas Lapide's research belongs, contextualizing and distinguishing his work within it. It moves on to a systematic and comprehensive presentation of Lapide's Jewish theology of Christianity. It turns then to critical analysis of Lapide's work in the light of his Jewish-Christian dialogical encounters and of feminist theology. Ultimately, and still in the light of feminist theology, it returns to Lapide's work, thinking with and beyond it in the service of a dialogical model for pursuing Christian self-understanding.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Theology|Judaic studies

Recommended Citation

Galarneau, Joy Elizabeth, "A feminist interpretation of Pinchas Lapide's Jewish theology of Christianity as a model for Christian self -understanding" (2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3415998.