INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS
in cooperation with the
Faculty of International and Political studies
of the JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY, CRACOW
2011 Annual ICCJ Conference
July 3rd -6th, Cracow
Religions and Ideologies
Polish perspectives and beyond
The 2011 annual conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) will be held in Cracow, Poland, July 3rd-6th. The ICCJ is honoured to co-host the conference with the Faculty of International and Political studies of the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. The conference is part of an on going ICCJ project dealing with interreligious dialogue in Central and Eastern Europe. The countries of this region, emerging from communist rule, are in a process of integration into a free and democratic Europe. This process has many aspects, including an encounter with the challenge of multi-religious, multi-cultural society. This encounter poses questions about personal identity, social solidarity, church-state relations and other topics.
The theme chosen for the conference is “Religions and Ideologies, Polish perspectives and beyond”. In the 20th century Poland experienced occupation and dictatorship, first by the Nazis and then by the soviet communists. We recognize the courage and resistance shown by both religious and non religious Poles. We also recognize the revival of Jewish life and culture in Poland, largely due to the efforts by non-Jews. It is for these reasons that Poland was chosen as the venue for an exploration of our theme, with Cracow being an ideal location, both because of its historical associations for Christians and Jews and for the central role it has in Polish history.
Being in Cracow it is almost imperative that we visit the memorial site of Auschwitz/Birkenau. Although the Holocaust is not the theme of this conference, one can not escape the shadow cast by the Holocaust on Jewish-Christian dialogue. Our emphasis however will be on the educational implications that the Holocaust holds for Jews and Christians in the 21st century. We realize this visit will be an emotional one for the conference participants. A special program has been planned for those visiting for the first time and debriefing sessions will take into account the emotional as well as spiritual and intellectual aspects of this conference day.
In the frame work of the conference, the Auschwitz visit will be the second full conference day. The opening night program will be hosted by the President of Cracow and the Cracow region at Town Hall, on Sunday July 3rd. The first full conference day, Monday July 4th, will be devoted to a brief introduction to the social history of Poland in the 20th century and its impact on both Christian and Jewish communities. Workshops deal with issues of mutual Jewish-Polish and broader stereotyping, the issue of multi layered identity (Polish and/or Jewish and/or Christian and/or other identities) and Jewish-German-Polish trilateral dialogue. Another aspect of our workshops will be familiarizing the conference participants with the many initiatives and activities in the realm of Christian-Jewish dialogue throughout Poland today. The afternoon will be spend on visits to sites of historical and religious interest in Cracow, like the Jewish quarter Kazimierz.
The third and last full conference day, Wednesday July 6th, will emphasize common challenges confronting Jews and Christians alike. The plenary will be devoted to the opportunities for Jews and Christians to strive together for social justice within the global economy. Workshops will explore other challenges facing Jews and Christians such as the challenge of fundamentalism, secularism and individualism. Two concluding, concurrent panels will discuss burning international issues in interreligious dialogue. One topic will be the issue of relations between religion and state. The other will be the issue of Israel/Palestine. The conference will conclude with a festive dinner and a cultural program.
The 2011 Cracow Planning committee
Chair of the committee:
- Deselaers, Rev. Dr. Manfred, Centre for Dialogue and Prayer, Oswiecim, chair of the planning committee.
Members (in alphabetical order)
- Dawidowski, Rev. Dr Wiesław, OSA, co-chairman of the Polish CCJ, Prior of the Augustinian Monastery in Łomianki.
- Krajewski, Prof. Stanislaw, Warsaw, University of Warsaw, Jewish co-chair of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews.
- Pawlikowski, Prof. John T. OSM, Chicago, Professor of social ethics, Catholic Theological Union, University of Chicago
- Pruiksma, Rev. Dick, Heppenheim, General Secretary International Council of Christians and Jews.
- Szlachta, Prof. Bogdan, Cracow, Dean of the Faculty of International and Political studies, Jagiellonian University, Cracow.
- Weissman, Dr. Deborah, Jerusalem, President International Council of Christians and Jews.
Members of the extended planning committee: (in alphabetical order)
- Ambrosewicz-Jacobs, Dr. Jolanta, Cracow, Director of the Jagiellonian Centre for Holocaust Studies, member of the Cracovian Jewish-Christian dialogue group ‘Covenant’.
- Borgegard, Mrs. Gunnel, Uppsala, Theological Secretary of Ecumenism in the Nordic Region,
Chair-person of the Swedish Council of Christians and Jews and Board member of the ICCJ.
- Kozub-Ciembroniewicz, Prof. Wiesław, Cracow, Faculty of International and Political studies, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Jagiellonian Centre for Holocaust Studies, member of the Cracovian Jewish-Christian dialogue group ‘Covenant’.
- Mach, Prof. Zdzisław, Cracow, Director of the Institute of European Studies, Faculty of International and Political studies, Jagiellonian University, Cracow.