Finding Common Ground

Christian Brothers University (CBU) will host an evening seminar exploring shared spiritual values of Judaism and Christianity. This seminar will be held on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Buckman Hall, Room 211.

Working from the writings of theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, the seminar offers an examination of this seminal thinker’s ideas on spiritual values, human rights, and ethical living. The seminar encourages Jewish-Christian dialogue about how these two religious traditions foster a similar spiritual relationship with God and share values that support the pursuit of human dignity.

A devout Jew, Heschel played an important role in bringing Christians and Jews together in the era of Vatican II and in the aftermath of the Holocaust. He influenced the reformulation of the Catholic Church’s expression toward Judaism through liturgy and theology. Heschel was also active in the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked tirelessly to find common ground among various communities of faith.

Heschel’s many books pursue universal spiritual truths that transcend religious denomination and are accessible to anyone. The seminar will use short selections from Heschel’s writing to discuss approaches to spirituality in the contemporary context of religious diversity. Participants will be encouraged to develop new insight into how the impulse to religious faith and the perspective on human dignity in both Judaism and Christianity transcends the particularities of spiritual tradition.

The seminar will be interactive to engage interfaith dialogue. It will be led by Stuart Cohen, president of Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Dr. Ellen Faith, professor of education, at Christian Brothers University. The seminar is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so RSVP by contacting Dr. Ellen Faith at (901) 321-3017 or esfaith@cbu.edu . ###

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