All living relationships change and develop. This includes the relationship between Jews and Christians, which has changed remarkably in recent decades. In Lund 2019, the ICCJ will consider the effects of dialogue on our self-understanding as Christians and Jews, together with how we understand our neighbour. Where are we now, what challenges do we face, and where are we going?
The theme of this conference - Transformations - is a central and recurring theme in the scriptures. These narratives contain numerous beginnings and endings; but an ending is never just an ending, but also a new beginning. Between what has been and what will be, transformations occur.
The ICCJ itself has undergone transformations during its history. Our perspectives, challenges and purposes have evolved since the time of the “Address to the Churches – The Ten Points of Seelisberg” in 1947 up to 2009’s “A Time for Recommitment: The Twelve Points of Berlin,” and includes numerous ICCJ statements in between and up to today. Our next conference will focus on the questions that enable us to move forward in dialogue.
“Transformations” also encompasses what is happening spiritually and theologically:
- How does the changing relationship between Jews and Christians shape how we understand ourselves as human beings in the world?
- How does it affect how we conceive of our traditions’ relationship to God?
- What is the gift which the other brings that helps to transform one’s own perspective and religious appreciation?
- How do we put dialogue into the heart of our religious traditions, rather than a peripheral concern?
- What happens within our own communities when our co-religionists feel threatened by transformations in our received understandings about the other?
- How are we affected by outbursts of antisemitism and Islamophobia, including in recent years in Malmö, Sweden, or the widespread polarization in society at large?
- What challenges and opportunities do we foresee?
These and other topics will be explored when the ICCJ gathers in Sweden from 30 June to 3 July, 2019.
We will mark the 40th anniversary of the ICCJ’s national member organization, Samarbetsrådet för judar och kristna (Cooperation Council for Jews and Christians), which is active in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Lund/Malmö.
Our 2019 conference is hosted in southernmost Sweden in Lund: Lund is a city with a rich history, in its city centre stands the medieval Roman cathedral from the 12th century. Since the Reformation it is Lutheran but, as a sign of today’s ecumenical spirit, the city’s Catholic congregation currently celebrates its Sunday mass in the Lutheran church while their own church is being renovated. Lund has a proud academic history as well as an industrial one. It happens to be rich in Jewish history: part of the city centre was once a miniature shtetl and it is home to the archive of the Ravensbrück witness archive.
The ICCJ Executive Board, together with the ICCJ General Secretary and the Co-chairs of the conference planning committee - ICCJ President Rev. Bo Sandahl from Lund and Rabbi Peter Borenstein from Gothenburg - look forward to welcoming you to Sweden in 2019!
A pdf-file of the introduction to the conference theme for Lund 2019 can be found here - please share it with colleagues and friends.
Further information will follow on ICCJ's website in due time.
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The online-registration for participants in ICCJ's 2019 conference will open at the end of February 2019.
Picture on the frontpage: Lund Cathedral, © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0