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Jews, Jesus and the Stain of Deicide
August 19, 2011
In early March, the Pope published a book renouncing the idea that the Jewish people are responsible for the death of Christ. Though the story has been officially rejected by the Catholic Church since the 1960s, it never quite went away. Much of the myth derives from one line in the Gospel of Matthew, attributed to the Jewish crowd at the trial of Jesus: “Let his blood be on us and on our children.” For those who read the Bible literally, it casts a stain of deicide — of killing a god — on Jews for all eternity.

To explore the roots of this story, and its consequences, we turn to James Carroll. He’s one of the world’s leading scholars on anti-Semitism and he has written the definitive book on the topic.

Our story first aired in March 2011.

Pictured: A crowd pins Christ to the ground on the way to his crucifixion. Painting by Domenichino, 17th century.

James Carroll, author of "Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History" and "Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World"

Paul the Jew

Begins at 22 min 30 sec

Many people trace the roots of anti-Semitism back to a single moment: St. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. That’s when, according to traditional teachings, Paul rejected his Judaism for the new, improved version: Christianity.   Bible scholar Pamela Eisenbaum says this interpretation of Paul is not only wrong, it’s dangerous.  She spoke to Laura Kwerel in October 2009.  

Project Conversion: Muslim Edition

Begins at 31 min 36 sec
Becoming an honorary Muslim - during Ramadan no less - was a hard at first.  No food and drink during a heat wave in his hometown of North Carolina. Praying fives times a day. And growing out a beard - despite the objections of his wife- to follow the example of Muhammad.  But he also experienced a profound, radically different understanding of what it means to be Muslim in America.

Andrew Bowen, creator of Project Conversion

Searching For God After 9/11: The First Hate Crime

Begins at 41 min 23 sec

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the unspeakable events of September 11th.  Looking back, many of us are still struggling with questions about God, faith, and the nature of evil. Was this really done in the name of religion? And how could a loving God allow this to happen?
This week we begin our new series, Searching For God After 9/11, with the story of a Sikh American named Rana Singh Sodhi.  His brother, Balbir, was murdered on Sept 15, 2001, in America's first hate crime after 9/11.

Rana Singh Sodhi, Sikh educator

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Full Interview: James Carroll August 19, 2011