Meeting Program

Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia

Meeting Held Concurrently with the International Council of Christians and Jews

Sunday, July 10 - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ICCJ 2016 CCJR web  

The Dynamics of Religious Pluralism in a Changing World

The Philadelphia, United States, and International Contexts



As its national member organization in the United States, the CCJR meeting will host and occur in conjunction with the annual conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews from Sunday, July 10 - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. All members are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with Jews, Christians, and Muslims from many countries who are dedicated to interreligious understanding.

These dates are earlier than our usual late October-early November schedule, so please mark your calendars and register as soon as possible.

Unlike previous years, registration for the CCJR/ICCJ meeting will take place at the ICCJ website at where an increasingly detailed schedule will be posted. The conference hotel will be the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue (4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131), less than a mile from the SJU campus, whose reservations page with a special rate is linked from the ICCJ site.

Conference Overview

Sunday, July 10

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Opening Ceremonies

  Keynote Speaker:  Rabbi Dr. David Saperstein, United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, “The Religious Landscape in the World Today”

6:00 p.m.


Monday, July 11


William Penn's Experiment


Plenary Session A

The Christian Majority in the USA: Tolerance, Intolerance, & Competition

Although Christians were the overwhelming religious majority in the United States since colonial days, the experiences of the diverse Christian subgroups have been quite varied over the centuries because of ethnic origins, theological conflicts, and waves of immigration. This plenary session explores this kaleidoscopic story involving Anabaptists and Quakers, Mainline and Evangelical Christianity, African-American Christians, and Roman Catholics.

  • Kate Oxx, Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity, Saint Joseph's University.
  • Terry Rey, Associate Professor Religious Studies, specializing in African and African Diasporic Religions, Temple University.
  • David Kreuger, independent scholar of American religious history, violence, myths of origin, and popular culture.
11:00-12:15 Workshop Session A
  • Four workshops will go into further detail on the above plenary session.
  • The Marrakesh Declaration: Muslims in the USA and Christians in the Middle East [sponsored by the International Abrahamic Forum].

New Christian-Jewish relations documents

  • Authors' Roundtable

Speakers representing the authorship of several recent statements on Jewish-Christian relations will introduce the purpose and intended audience(s) of their document and highlight sentences or portions they consider to be the most important and/or the most difficult to compose.

  • Facilitated small group dialogues on excerpts. The groups will generate questions to be submitted in writing for ensuing scholarly panel.
  • Remarks and Question Responses by CCJR members
4:30-5:45 Workshop Session B
  1. Post-Holocaust conversations in multireligious contexts
  2. Voice, Engage, Support and Act: Interfaith cooperation on campus  - Sponsored by the Young Leadership Council
  3. When Does Anti-Zionism become Antisemitism?
  4. Accepting Difference - Sponsored by the International Abrahamic Forum
  5. TBA


7:00-9:00 Evening Programs and Meetings
  • CCJR Business Meeting
  • Friends of Martin Buber House meeting
  • Film discussion: "Hiding and Seeking"
  • Film Discussion: "Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia"
  • Regional / Language Meetings

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Theme The Non-Establishment Experiment
9:00-10:30 Plenary Session B

“The Jewish Experience of the American Experiment”
  • Jonathan Sarna, Brandeis University
  • Mehnaz Afridi, Manhattan College
  • Volker Haarmann - Protestant Church of the Rhineland (Germany)



Plenary Session C



“The Muslim Experience of the American Experiment”
  • Mehnaz Afridi, Manhattan College.
  • Jonathan Sarna, Brandeis University
  • Volker Haarmann - Protestant Church of the Rhineland (Germany)



2:00 Field Trips to Local Sites
  • Museum of American Jewish History
  • AJC Historic Walking Tour of Jewish Philadelphia
  • The Religious Diversity of Center City Philadelphia: A Walking Tour
  • Tour of Religious Art: Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Independence Hall and Liberty Bell
  • African American Museum
  • National Constitution Center
4:30 Rendezvous at the National Constitution Center
Plenary speaker: Jeffrey Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center.

Free Evening

 Wednesday, July 13

Theme International Insights
9:00-10:30 Plenary Session D

"International Perspectives on Religious Pluralism: Challenges, Limits, and Possibilities"

  • Liliane Apotheker (France)
  • Pavol Bargar (Czech Republic)
  • Shmuel Szteinhendler (Chile)
  • Michael Trainor (Australia)
  • Deborah Weissman (Israel)


11:00-12:30 Workshop Session C
  1. Holocaust Education in the Second and Third Generations
  2. Day of Judaism/Israel Sunday 
  3. Prelude to 2017: Luther and the Jews
  4. Higher Education in Christian-Jewish Relations

5. Sharia and Halakha in the United States Today
Hosted by the International Abrahamic Forum.



Plenary Session E:

"The Understanding of Paul's Theology and Christian Anti-Judaism."

  • E. P. Sanders (author of Paul and Palestinian Judaism)
  • Adele Reinhartz, University of Ottawa and Boston College
  • Dick Pruiksma re "Paul within Judaism"
4:00 - 5:00

Concluding Session: Conference Reflections


Closing Festive Dinner

For all the details of the upcoming CCJR/ICCJ meeting and to register, go to:



The ICCJ serves as the umbrella organization of forty national Jewish-Christian dialogue organisations in over thirty nations around the world.  Through its annual conferences and other consultations the ICCJ offers a platform where people of different religious backgrounds examine current issues across national and religious boundaries, enabling face-to-face exchanges of experience and expertise. The international headquarters of the ICCJ are located in Heppenheim, Germany in the house where the great Jewish thinker Martin Buber lived until Nazi persecution forced him to flee.

The CCJR is an association of nearly forty centers and institutes in the United States and Canada devoted to enhancing mutual understanding between Jews and Christians. It is the ICCJ's national member organization for the United States. The CCJR publishes Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations in collaboration with Boston College’s Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. The Council also maintains Dialogika, an English language supersite for resources and research in Christian-Jewish relations in partnership with the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.