Join people from all faiths for a regional interfaith conference entitled “Sacred Threads: Encountering Nostra Aetate for Our Time,” to explore the remarkable content of Nostra Aetate — the 1965 watershed document issued by Vatican II that set into motion introspection, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue.
Through the groundbreaking declaration Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church was transformed from one of confrontation to one of conversation as the Church stated its intent to revere “the work of G-d in all major faith traditions.” An outcome of Vatican II, it focused, in part, on the fraught relationships between Catholics and Jews. It was informed by the Holocaust and committed the Church to end antisemitic and anti-Jewish practices. While this document set the course for interfaith healing, continuing antisemitic sentiment makes painfully clear this ancient hatred is alive, well, and a threat.
Nostra Aetate additionally addresses the Church’s relationship to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. It is the perfect document to explore for our time. Our Sacred Threads: Encountering Nostra Aetate for our Time Conference will feature Catholic and Jewish scholars who are building on the work of Nostra Aetate. The program will empower people of faith, from all faiths, to understand the spiritual nature and remarkable content of Nostra Aetate, and to reflect on the steps needed today to counter antisemitism and advance interfaith understanding.
- Dr. Matthew Tapie, Assistant Professor of Theology, Director, Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, St. Leo College, St. Leo, Florida
- Dr. Malka Simkovich, Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies, Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Chair of Biblical Literature and Languages, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL
- Dr. Adrian Bird, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Church History, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte, NC
- Dr. Peter Ochs, Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (will deliver a keynote address)
The conference will also include music, poetry, art, spirituality, and small group discussions and dialogue. We will end our program with an original musical composition based on Nostra Aetate by Beth Schafer, Jewish musician and composer, and Father Ricky Manalo, Christian musician, composer and educator – a composition many years in the making. We will end the conference celebrating our fellowship with a wine and cheese reception.
Partners in planning the conference include Belmont Abbey College, the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University, and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. The conference is additionally sponsored by Temple Beth El.
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