Jews and Catholics in the Twenty-First Century: Lingering Shadows and the Road Ahead

  • Jonathan RayEmail author
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


The last 50 years have been a period of unprecedented cooperation and mutual understanding between Catholics and Jews but have also been marked by indifference to inter-faith dialogue in significant quarters of the Jewish community. The landmark statement of Nostra Aetate did not so much resolve a long and problematic history of inter-faith tensions as challenge us to reconsider the nature of Catholic-Jewish relations. This chapter sets inter-religious dialogue against the backdrop of dynamics within Judaism, including acute concerns about demography and survival, ongoing intra-Jewish tensions regarding proper observance of the law, and the nature of the secular world vis-à-vis the Jewish community, arguing that Catholics must be aware of these dynamics to understand their partners in dialogue. The author, a Jewish historian, discusses the interplay between the past and the future and outlines some of the key issues upon which Catholics and Jews might reflect in order to move forward.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TheologyGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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