Philadelphia, "the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection," is the site of the 2016 annual conference of the ICCJ on "The Dynamics of Religious Pluralism in a Changing World" (see a program outline here) from July 10 - 13. Hosted by the United States national member organization, the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), the conference will provide a unique venue to discuss the "the dynamics of religious pluralism in a changing world."
The opening session of the conference on Sunday, July 10 will feature a keynote address by the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein, who will give an overview of interreligious relations in today's world.
The highlight of Monday morning will be an exploration of how a wide diversity of European colonizers struggled to establish – sometimes with a spectacular lack of success – societies founded on religious tolerance for their quite different Christian traditions. The enslavement of Africans and waves of immigration from different parts of the world often endangered this "American experiment" in pluralism. On Monday afternoon, four recent Jewish and Christian statements on their interrelations will be discussed by some of their authors and studied in small groups, followed by a wide-ranging conversation with several scholars of Christian-Jewish relations.
Tuesday morning will focus on the experiences of Jews and Muslims amid a predominantly Christian population. That Christian ethos seemed to newcomers of different religious backgrounds as quite capable of swallowing up their specific religious and cultural traditions.
Wednesday will turn to the international context and compare the present reality of religious pluralism in several different parts of the world.
Fifteen different workshops will explore numerous topics in Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, including Religion as Problem and Solution, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism, Holocaust Education in the Future, the Marrakesh Declaration, Higher Education initiatives, the revolution in Pauline studies, European observances of Jewish tradition and culture, and Luther and the Jews.
Of course, the host city of Philadelphia offers many historical and cultural landmarks that ICCJ participants will be able to visit. These include the National Constitution Center, the National Museum of American Jewish History, walking tours of historic Jewish and Christian houses of worship, the African-American Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and, of course, the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was voted upon two-hundred and forty years ago and where the Constitution of the United States was composed).
Join us for what promises to be a remarkable and memorable conference!
Come to Philadelphia and register for this years's ICCJ conference here!