Long before he was Pope Benedict the 16th, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was already a fan of Rabbi Jacob Neusner. He called his book "A Rabbi Talks with Jesus," "by far the most important book in Jewish-Christian dialogue in the last decade." Now that he's Pope, they're still talking, in the exalted dialogue and debate of theologians.
This is history-making. It's the first time in centuries that a Pope and a rabbi have talked like this. And it's not all sweet talk. We couldn't get the Pope on the line, but we've got the rabbi.
This hour On Point: a conversation with the Pope's rabbi, Jacob Neusner.
Jacob Neusner, professor of the history of theology at Bard College, senior fellow at the college's Institute of Advanced Theology, and author of more than 900 books. He has corresponded with Pope Benedict for more than a decade.
Father Richard Neuhaus, prominent Catholic priest and writer, and editor-in-chief of "First Things," a monthly journal of religion, culture and public life.
This program aired on June 19, 2007.