In this article, I take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council to reassess one of its major products, the declaration Nostra Aetate (“In Our Time”). Following a brief introduction to Nostra Aetate, I describe my experience teaching an undergraduate course on Jewish-Christian Relations built around the document’s recommendations for interfaith dialogue. Through open dialogue about religious beliefs, prejudices, and stereotypes, students made great strides in developing religious literacy, defined by Prothero (2007) as “the ability to understand and use in one’s day-to-day life the basic building blocks of religious traditions” (p. 14). I explore the concept of religious literacy and Nostra Aetate’s potential as a tool for fostering interfaith dialogue. I pair this theoretical discussion with some specific implications for Catholic educational settings, and show the continuing relevance of Nostra Aetate as a theological and philosophical basis for Catholic education today.
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Nienhaus, C. (2013). Nostra Aetate and the Religious Literacy of Catholic Students. Journal of Catholic Education, 17 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.15365/joce.1701042013