2007–2008

April 17-19, 2008

Faithful Citizenship: Principles and Strategies to Serve the Common Good

The Kripke Center, in cooperation with the Graff Faculty Chair of Catholic Theology, sponsored a symposium on the Catholic Interface of Church and State. Nine nationally recognized scholars delivered addresses on prominent issues in Church – State relations, and local scholars responded. The papers will be published in the Supplement Series of the Journal of Religion & Society.

The symposium began on Thursday evening, April 17, and ran through noon on Saturday, April 19. All events were held in the Skutt Student Center.


April 7, 2008

Scriptural and Liturgical Responses to the Holocaust

Steven Kepnes addressed theological responses to the Holocaust as part of the Kripke Center’s Holocaust Studies Lectures.

Dr. Steven Kepnes is the William Finard Chair of Jewish Studies and chair of the religion department at Colgate University. He is the author of Liturgical Reasoning (2007), Scripture, Reason, and the Islam-West Encounter (Edited with Basit Koshul; 2007), Reason after Revelation: Dialogues in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy (with Peter Ochs and Robert Gibbs; 1998 ), Interpreting Judaism in a Postmodern Age (1996), and The Text as Thou: Martin Buber’s Hermeneutics (1992). He is currently working on a book on The Signs of Prophecy.

The lecture was given on Monday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, Ballroom East.


March 13, 2008

The Religious Lives of Muslim Women

Maria Massi Dakake, of George Mason University, delivered the sixth annual Women and Religion lecture.

Dr. Dakake holds a Ph.D. (2000) in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. She is currently Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University, where she teaches courses on Islam and other Near Eastern religious traditions, as well as courses on women in religion, and is one of the founding faculty members of the Islamic Studies Program. Her research interests lie in the fields of Islamic theology, philosophy, and mysticism, with a particular interest in Shi‘ite and Sufi traditions and in women’s issues.  She has just published a book on the intellectual formation of the early Shi‘ite community, entitled, The Charismatic Community: Shi‘ite Identity in Early Islam (2007). She is currently part of an editorial team compiling a Study Qur’an, including extensive commentary on the text, and is working individually on a book about the lives and spiritual devotions of women mystics in Islam.

Her lecture was given Thursday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hixson-Lied Science Building, room G4.


March 10, 2008

Post-Holocaust Thoughts on God, Beauty, and Rotten Timber (with a Concluding Talmudic Postscript)

Zachary Braiterman addressed the theological consequences of the Holocaust as part of the Kripke Center’s Holocaust Studies Lectures.

Zachary Braiterman is Associate Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University, where he works in modern Jewish thought and culture. Braiterman is the author of The Shape of Revelation: Aesthetics and Modern Jewish Thought (2007), as well as (God) After Auschwitz: Tradition and Change in Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought (1998). His research and teaching interests reflect upon the impact of modernity upon the “art” of religion, namely philosophical and theological expression, ritual practice, text-interpretation, and community life.

The lecture was given on Monday, March 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, Ballroom East.


February 6, 2008

Jews and Christians After Auschwitz: Modernity, Memory and Reconciliation

Rabbi Michael Signer and Dr. J. Matthew Ashley dialogued over Jewish and Christian responses to the Holocaust at part of the Kripke Center’s Holocaust Studies Lectures.

Rabbi Signer is the Abrams Professor in the Department of Theology and a Senior Fellow of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame University. He is Director of the Notre Dame Holocaust Project – an interdisciplinary faculty group that designs educational opportunities for students to engage in the study of the Shoah. Since 1998 he has been co-chair of the Joint Commission on Interreligious Affairs of the Reform movement. He is the author and editor of five books on topics that range from Medieval Latin biblical commentaries to contemporary Jewish-Christian relations such as Humanity at the Limit: The Impact of the Holocaust Experience on Jews and Christians; Memory and History in Judaism and Christianity; Jews and Christians in Twelfth-Century Europe. He is one of the four authors of Daberu Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity.

Dr. Ashlely is Associate Professor of Theology and Director of Graduate Studies at Notre Dame University. His scholarly interests include political and liberation theology, Christian spirituality, and the dialogue between theology and science. He is the author of Interruptions: Mysticism, Politics and Theology in the Work of Johann Baptist Metz.

Their joint lecture and dialogue took place on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, Ballroom West.


January 31, 2008

The “New Atheism” and the Scientific-Naturalist Tradition

Dr. Nancey Murphy gave a lecture addressing the popular “new athesism.”

Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. She received the B.A. from Creighton University (philosophy and psychology) in 1973, the Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley (philosophy of science) in 1980, and the Th.D. from the Graduate Theological Union (theology) in 1987.

Her first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning (1990) won the American Academy of Religion award for excellence. She is author of eight other books including On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics (1996; co-authored with George Ellis), and Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will (Oxford University, 2007; co-authored with Warren Brown).

Her research interests focus on the role of modern and postmodern philosophy in shaping Christian theology; on relations between theology and science; and relations between neuroscience and philosophy of mind.

Dr. Murphy’s lecture was given Thursday, January 31, at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, room 104.


January 14

Paul on Judaism . . . and Other Religious Traditions

Dr. Pamela Eisenbaum will address St. Paul’s understanding of Judaism, and then extrapolate from this how Paul would have viewed other religious traditions.

Dr. Eisenbaum is a Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. She has published widely on Paul, including a forthcoming book from HarperCollins. As a Jewish New Testament scholar, she has contributed to understanding early Jewish-Christian relations.

Dr. Eisenbaum’s lecture will be given Monday, January 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the Skutt Student Center, room 104.


October 28-29, 2007

“The Mountains Shall Drip Wine”: Jews and the Environment

The Twentieth Annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium explored the role of the environment in the Jewish tradition. The two day symposium, drawing speakers from around the United States and Israel was held at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, October 28. On Monday, October 29, the sessions were held at Creighton University in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom.

For further information, see the website of the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization.

The proceedings of the symposium will be published in the Studies in Jewish Civilization series.


October 25-26, 2007

Religion and the Environment

The Kripke Center symposium brought together twelve scholars to address in diverse ways the complex relationship between religion and the environment, including such issues as, the ways in which religion has shaped human attitudes and treatment of the environment, the role of the environment in religious traditions, and the hope religion offers for renewal of the environment.

The papers will be published as a supplement of the Journal of Religion & Society

All talks were given in the Skutt Student Center, room 105.


October 4, 2007

The Undecidability of Pascal’s Wager

Dr. Marion Ledwig, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, spoke on Thursday, October 4 at 4:00 p.m. in the Union Pacific Room of Reinert Alumni Library. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Common Sense: its History, Method, and Applicability (2007), Emotions: their Rationality and Consistency (2006), and Reid’s Philosophy of Psychology (2005).

This lecture was free and open to the public.