“In spite of the progress in the historical work on the Pharisees, preaching all over the Christian world continues to depict these Jewish teachers as xenophobes, elitists, legalists, lovers of money and moral hypocrites. Moreover, in general the term ‘Pharisee’ implies ‘Jew,’ since many Jews and Christians consider the Pharisees the precursors of rabbinic Judaism. Therefore, even when Christians use the term ‘Pharisee’ to denounce clericalism in ecclesial contexts, they do nothing but reinforce prejudice toward Jews.”
That’s how Amy-Jill Levine, a Jewish American from Vanderbilt University, began the talk she gave on May 9 in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, at a conference dedicated to the theme “Jesus and the Pharisees. A multidisciplinary reexamination.”
But who flat out uses the term “Pharisee” to denounce “clericalism in ecclesial contexts” if not Pope Francis himself?