In this time of crisis and upheaval, everyday believers around the globe are looking to their faith for consolation and guidance. Yet religiosity has also become intertwined with conspiracy theorizing, hate speech and violence. What are the historical roots of religiously motivated discrimination and how can communities of faith transform the conversation?
Join us on May 12 for a discussion that will span religious scholarship and practical suggestions for religious leaders, with scholars from The University of Chicago and The Jewish Theological Seminary, and our partners at the Evangelischer Kirchenkreis Berlin Stadtmitte.
David Nirenberg is the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Social Thought, Medieval History, Fundamentals, Middle East Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures at The University of Chicago, serving as Dean of the University's Divinity School. Professor Nirenberg's field specialities include Christians, Jews and Muslims in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean; and medieval ideas about communication, exchange and social relations. Much of his work "has focused on the ways in which Jewish, Christian and Islamic cultures constitute themselves by interrelating with or thinking about each other." His books include Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton University Press, 1996), Neighboring Faiths: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the Middle Ages and Today (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (W.W. Norton, 2013). Read his full bio here.
Reverend Silke Radosh-Hinder is Vice-Superintendent of the Church District of Berlin City Center. She is responsible for conceptual work with children and youth, refugee programs and especially interfaith education. She previously worked as the director of an interfaith educational center in Berlin with close connections to the Jewish Museum and has initiated and accompanied many interfaith youth programs. She is one of the four founding members of the Three-Religion-Daycare-Center/Preschool that will be built in 2022 in Berlin. In April she submitted her dissertation, “The Construction of Equalities: a case study on interreligious communication within an urban context,” which is an analysis of the communicative interactions of the interreligious initiative for the Three-Religion-Daycare-Center at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Starting in May 2021, she will also be working with the Leo Baeck Foundation on establishing a concept for a new interfaith center in Potsdam. Read her full bio (in German) here.
Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky is Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He joined the faculty upon his ordination in 1977. Visotzky is a former dean of the Gershon Kekst Graduate School and founding rabbi of the egalitarian Women’s League Seminary Synagogue. He serves as the Louis Stein Director of the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS, programming on public policy. Visotzky also directs JTS’s Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue. He is the author of 10 books and over 120 articles, and co-editor of four other books. His book Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism as We Know It was published in 2016. Read his full bio here.