PBS Special Includes Three HDS Professors

Three Harvard Divinity School professors are among the 40 participants interviewed in Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith, a two-hour documentary making its Boston prime-time television debut on WGBH-TV Tuesday, April 2 from 9 to 11 PM (it will also air Easter Sunday, March 31, from 3 to 5 PM).

Harvey Cox, Thomas Professor of Divinity; Jon Levenson, List Professor of Jewish Studies; and Krister Stendahl, Mellon Professor of Divinity Emeritus are among the many Jewish and Christian scholars and laypeople who provide frank and knowledgeable commentary in the film. All three have special expertise in the area from their different academic and personal backgrounds.

Cox recently published a book entitled Common Prayers: Faith, Family, and a Christian’s Journey through the Jewish Year (Houghton Mifflin) which draws on his personal experience as one of the world’s most eminent Christian theologians who also happens to be married to a Jewish woman and with whom he is raising a Jewish son. Levenson, who specializes in the reinterpretation of Hebrew Bible texts, has long been involved in the question of the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, both in the times of the early church and in modernity. And Stendahl is a world-known thinker and actor in Jewish Christian relations. He chaired the World Council of Churches' work on “The Church and the Jewish People” from 1975-1985 and co-directed the Osher Center for Tolerance and Pluralism at the Shalom-Hartman Institute in Jerusalem from 1994-1998. 

The documentary, directed by Gerald Krell and Meyer Odze and co-produced by Auteur Productions, Ltd., and Connecticut Public Television, explores common beliefs, rituals and traditions shared by Judaism and Christianity. It also examines the way in which contemporary Jews and Christians perceive one another, how they confront prejudice and stereotypes, and how they ultimately can learn to understand and respect one another. 

The Boston debut will occur just after overlapping religious holidays important to Jews and Christians the world over: Passover and Holy Week/Easter. The documentary has already aired in New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, and dozens of other cities, where it received great acclaim.