David L. Coppola, Ph.D., associate executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, has taught “The History of Christian-Jewish Relations” since the Fall semester of 1999 at Sacred Heart University. The course examines the historical and theological relationship between Judaism and Christianity beginning with a brief history of Judaism, then moving to an examination of both religions at the time of Jesus, which resulted in separation and misunderstanding through the Patristic Period, the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, until the present time.
A second course taught by Dr. Coppola is “Christian-Jewish Relations in Contemporary Church Teachings.” This course studies the dramatic positive strides in interreligious understanding advanced by the Second Vatican Council and the continued good relations between Christians and Jews. Theological, pastoral, liturgical, and pedagogical implications of the last 40 years are discussed.
A third course is “Peace and Social Justice in the Jewish-Christian Tradition.” This course critically examines and discusses the historical and theological tradition of peace and social justice found in Judaism and Christianity. Participants will relate to a variety of theories, practices, and challenges that surround peace and social justice, compare that research to their personal experiences who will investigate a particular organization or group devoted to action for peace and justice, and discuss these issues with other members of the class. Particular attention is also paid to the Jewish-Christian social thought, social analysis, and pastoral/educational approaches.
A fourth course is "Meanings of Death" which examines the meaning that religions have discerned from the experience of death and beyond. Special attention is paid to the insights and beliefs of the Abrahamic faiths.
These are courses and others are offered by the school of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University and may be applied to an MA degree in Theology and Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian-Jewish Understanding. The Master of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies degree requires 33 hours of course work (11 three-hour courses) and a comprehensive examination or master's thesis. Those interested in taking these or other courses in Religious Studies should call the Director of Graduate Admissions, at 203-371-7882 or contact the CCJU at 203-365-7592.