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2023 Fall Shapiro Lecture | After Polemics: Dialogue and Awkward Silence in Contemporary Jewish-Christian Relations

October 31, 2023 @ 2:00 PM CT - October 31, 2023 @ 3:00 PM CT

Karma, Shapiro Lecture

Dr. Karma Ben-Johanan is a fellow at the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She teaches at the Department for Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her PhD in the Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies at Tel Aviv University. Subsequently, she was a Fulbright postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and a postdoctoral fellow at the Polonsky Academy for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. In 2019, Karma was appointed the first chair of Jewish–Christian relations in the Faculty of Theology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she served until the summer of 2022.

Karma is among the 9 winners of the Dan David Prize for 2023, the world’s largest history prize. Her book, A Pottage of Lentils: Mutual Perceptions of Christians and Jews in the Age of Reconciliation (Tel Aviv University Press, 2020), won the Shazar Prize for Research in Jewish History in 2021. The updated and revised English version, Jacob’s Younger Brother (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2022) was awarded the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines, and was a finalist of both the National Jewish Book Award and the Association of American Publishers Prose Awards in 2023. Hear more about the book on the New Books Network podcast.

2023 Fall Shapiro Lecture

The emergence of Jewish-Christian dialogue in the second half of the 20th century, and especially in the wake of Nostra Aetate Paragraph #4, necessitated a reframing of the Jewish-Christian relationship, both historically and theologically. Conflictual theological concepts were marginalized, while previously neglected ideas, sources or metaphors took central stage. And yet a closer look into the new Jewish-Christian paradigm, especially as it has developed in contemporary Catholic and Jewish-Orthodox thought, shows how complicated it is, for both sides of the relationship, to circumvent certain charged ideas, or to avoid stepping on certain theological mines. This talk will tackle the place of difficult yet persistent traditions in Jewish-Christian dialogue, and the constant negotiation on reframing.       

The Shapiro Lecture will be offered Virtually

■ Lecture will begin at 2:00pm CST

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