Born in Paris on June 27, 1962, from a non-religious Jewish family, Fr. Antoine Lévy, OP, joined the Dominican Order at the age of 26 following his conversion during his philosophy studies. During his theological studies, he chosed to develop his thought on the difference between Byzantine Christianity and Western Christianity – without at all forgetting his Jewish identity.
After a PhD in Freiburg in 2002 on Maximus the Confessor and Thomas Aquinas, Fr. Antoine was sent to Finland, at the border between Russia and the West. There, he headed the Dominican cultural centre in Helsinki and taught comparative theology at the university, remaining the only Dominican friar there for about ten years. In 2009, discovering a real interest in the Jewish-Christian question among Finnish Christians, he organized an ecumenical trip to Israel. During this trip, he met an American Messianic Jewish theologian, Mark Kinzer.
The following year, he and Mark Kinzer launched annual meetings bringing together Messianic Jews and Christians of Jewish origin from different faiths. The challenge of what continues to be called the Helsinki Consultation today is to reflect together on the meaning of Jewish identity within the Body of Christ that is the Church.
In 2018, Fr. Antoine decided to direct his intellectual activity more radically in this field. In agreement with his Provincial, he left Helsinki and was sent for one year to the École biblique et archéologique française of Jerusalem. The aim is to follow his research in collaboration with the École and the University of Jerusalem. He plans to work on a second doctoral thesis on Edith Stein, a Jewish philosopher who was converted and murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. The intersection between philosophical reflection, Jewish-Christian identity and the biblical universe – especially Esther’s book – is at the heart of this new research.