The Death of Jesus and Anti-Semitism


Participants include Bruce Chilton, Peter Feinman, and Jacob Neusner

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – A symposium “The Death of Jesus and Anti-Semitism,” will be presented at Manhattan’s House of the Redeemer on Sunday, March 14. Sponsored by Auburn Theological Seminary, the Ecumenical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, House of the Redeemer, and Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, the seminar will begin at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $10 or $5 for members of sponsoring organizations.

“From the time of the Gospels, the portrayal of Jesus’ execution has involved the assertion of Jewish guilt in his death,” says Bruce Chilton, organizer of the seminar and executive director of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. “Christians commemorate the crucifixion during the season of Passover, but what could become a moment for common reflection over the link of a common feast has instead been a traditional occasion for mutual suspicion and hostility. In this symposium, three speakers will deal with the crucifixion in historical, literary, and theological context, and engage participants in an open discussion of the issues.”

Presenters include Jacob Neusner, Research Professor of Religion and Theology and fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, who will speak about “Good Friday and Easter, or how, in the Mishnah, the Death Penalty Is Merciful.” Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion and chaplain of Bard College, will speak on “Pilate, the Politics of Rome, and Evangelical Politics.” And Peter Feinman, director of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education of Purchase, NY, will address “What Can the Archaeology of Masada Teach Us about the Death of Jesus?” Following each presentation, ample time for discussion will be allowed, and the seminar will conclude with a reception and book signing.

The House of the Redeemer is located at 7 East 95th Street in Manhattan. For further information, call 212-289-0399, e-mail, or visit the website

About the Presenters:

Bruce Chilton is a scholar of early Christianity and Judaism and the author of the first critical translation of the Aramaic version of Isaiah (The Isaiah Targum, 1987). He has written academic studies that put Jesus in his Jewish context (Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography, 2000; Pure Kingdom, 1996; The Temple of Jesus, 1992; and The Galilean Rabbi and His Bible, 1984). Chilton has taught in Europe at the universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, and M|nster, and in the United States at Yale University (as the first Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament) and at Bard College. Throughout his career he has been active in the pastoral ministry of the Anglican Church; he is currently rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, New York.

Peter Feinman received a B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. from New York University, and an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is president of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Westchester Society, serves on the education outreach committees of the AlA and the American Schools of Oriental Research, and is on the advisory boards of the proposed Westchester Children’s Museum and Dig magazine. Feinman is the New York State coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management’s Project Archaeology. He is the founder and president of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Education and his forthcoming book is William Foxwell Albright and the Origins of Biblical Archaeology, 18911913.

Jacob Neusner, senior fellow of Bards Institute of Advanced Theology, received a Ph.D. in religion from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and his rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also holds seven honorary doctorates and numerous other academic honors. He has published more than 800 books and articles. He has taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida, among others. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, and life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, in England. Neusner was president of the American Academy of Religion, a member of the founding committee of the Association for Jewish Studies, and founder of the European Association of Jewish Studies. He served on the National Council on the Humanities under President Carter and National Council on the Arts under President Reagan. Neusner’s research professorship at Bard College is supported, in part, by a grant from the Tisch Family Foundation of New York City.

For more information contact:

Bard College
Press Contact: Emily M. Darrow