Anniversary lecture explores Jewish-Christian links
THE Sisters of the Cross and Passion at Drumalis are marking the bicentenary of the birth of Elizabeth Prout, who founded the congregation.
With the coronavirus restrictions in mind, the Congregation at Drumalis has decided to hold a lecture series via Zoom as part of its 'fulfilling the dream' celebrations.
The latest takes place at 7pm today with Professor Amy-Jill Levine, professor of Jewish Studies and New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
She is one of the leading figures in exploring Jewish-Christian interfaith relations, and will speak on 'Understanding Jesus means Understanding Judaism'.
She was the first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome's Pontifical Bible Institute and has written widely for adults as well as children.
Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus and last year she published The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently.
She will argue that because Jesus and his first followers were Jews, grounded in Jewish Scripture, ethics, theology and hopes, to misunderstand Judaism is to misunderstand Jesus.
Prof Levine will explore how knowledge of Jesus' context might "bring new meaning to his piety, his parables, his prayers and his Passion".
Elizabeth Prout was born in Shrewsbury in England in 1820.
Baptised as an Anglican, she became a Catholic in her twenties.
She later founded a community in Manchester to help the poor workers in the industrial towns and cities of the north of England with their educational as well as spiritual needs.
Guidance came from two Passionists, Father Gaudentius Rossi and Father Ignatius Spencer; eventually the Sisters of the Cross and Passion was founded, with the first sisters making their vows in 1852.
Mother Mary Joseph, as Elizabeth Prout became known, died in 1864.
Other speakers in the bicentenary lecture series include Dom Christopher Jamison, author, broadcaster and Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation, on March 4 and Sister Joan Chittister, the American Benedictine nun, theologian and author, on March 25.