Mount professor examines Jewish-Catholic relations

November 08, 2013

Newburgh, NY -

Sr. Peggy Murphy's iROC Presentation

“It behooves us as Christians and Jews to, together, build and flourish on our shared tradition,” said Sr. Margaret “Peggy” Murphy, OP, a professor of religious studies at Mount Saint Mary College

Sr. Murphy recently delved into “The Effect of the Holocaust on Jewish-Catholic Relations,” as part of the Mount’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series.

The professor discussed post World War II developments in Jewish-Christian relations, as evidenced by key documents. Of great importance, she says, is the Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, stated by Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council. She also examined the continuing controversy over the role of Pope Pius XII, and new theological insights and lines of inquiry that have emerged over the past several decades as a result of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Sr. Murphy quoted Pope John Paul II, who stated that it is “necessary for us Christians and Jews to …be a blessing to one another.”

“Here at Mount Saint Mary College, we have experienced that blessing with extraordinary relationships with the local Jewish community,” Sr. Murphy said, pointing out that the college’s Hudson Hall had once been the Newburgh Jewish Community Center before it changed hands.

Through the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education of Seton Hill University, Sr. Murphy received a scholarship for the 2013 Summer Institute in Israel, Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, and Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.

Sr. Murphy helps educators with a chapter on a culture of peace and respect for all religions in the upcoming book, “Adolescence in the 21st Century: Constants and Challenge.”

The goal of the Mount’s iROC seminar series is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff, and students to present research proposals, preliminary data, and completed projects,” explained Douglas A. Robinson, assistant professor of biology and coordinator of the program.

The iROC presentations feature various academic fields.

Upcoming is “Small Stakes Risk Aversion and the Endowment Effect” by B. Erin Fairweather, assistant professor of economics, on November 21.