The Gospels describe a characteristic of Jesus that really got the attention of his contemporaries. He was evidently rather surprising in his choice of table companions. He seemed willing to share table fellowship with anyone, no matter the person’s reputation. This practice scandalized many religious people, people most committed to their religious tradition.
Of course, Jesus was not denying the centrality of religious tradition. But he...
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Margaret O’Gara is professor of theology at the Faculty of Theology in the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto. She is one of two daughters of James O’Gara, who served as Commonweal’s managing editor (1952–67) and editor (1967–84).