Bridge Builder

Amy-Jill Levine is an Orthodox Jew. At Vanderbilt, she is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies. I’ve learned much about the New Testament from her and from Jewish rabbis through the years. That’s no surprise since most people in the story were Jews.

This is the first of a new category of posts: Bridge Builders.

A-J, as many friends call her, preached (virtually) at the Washington National Cathedral on March 7, 2021. You can click this link to read the transcript and/or view the video. You can read it and listen to it, so I won’t clutter the universe with commentary. Just a word of context:

Vatican II (1962-1965) began an ecumenical renewal of worship, which led to a 3-year calendar of suggested scripture readings called the Revised Common Lectionary. Vanderbilt’s Divinity School Library became the custodian of this ecumenical effort. The lectionary isn’t written in stone, so there are lively conversations about how to best use (or modify) it. A-J’s sermon is part of that conversation.

The bio linked below her photo mentions that in 2019 she was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. I smiled because as a child A-J wanted to be pope someday. (She thought his hat and robe were cool.) Her mother tried to explain that it would be unlikely for a Jewish girl to achieve that goal. A bridge too far?

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