New Voices: Toward Linguistically Hospitable Dialogue Field Notes from A Friendly Pharisee

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Chava S. Bahle


The words we use to name each other’s traditions can determine whether dialogue opens the heart or closes the door to deeper relationship and understanding. “Linguistic hospitality” is an essential aspect of interreligious dialogue. This column examines briefly four terms in common use that need updating: Old Testament, Judeo-Christian, speaking the Hebrew name of God, and Pharisee. Examining these terms from the place of their home tradition in Judaism opens the way for more amenable discussion and deeper insight into the world and hermeneutical context of both Jesus and rabbinic Judaism.

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