2014 James & David Orr Lecture

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 4:15pm in 041 Haldeman Hall, Farid Esack (Department of Religion Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa) will present the Department of Religion's James & David Orr Lecture on Culture and Religion at Dartmouth College. The title of his talk is The Contemporary Democracy and the Human Rights Project – Challenges for the Progressive Muslim Intellectual. A reception will follow, and all are invited to attend.

2014 orr Lecture

Professor Susan Ackerman appointed president of ASOR

Professor Susan Ackerman has been appointed president of the American Schools of Oriental Research, an organization that supports and encourages the study of the Near East, from the earliest times to the present. ASOR has more than ninety consortium institutions, including universities, seminaries, museums, foundations, and libraries, and it has more than 1,550 individual members. Read Professor Ackerman's  "Welcome from the President" here.

Professor Susannah Heschel gives keynote address

On December 7, 2013, Professor Susannah Heschel gave the keynote address at Erudition and Commitment: A conference in honour of Angelika Neuwirth, held at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin. The theme of her talk was "Islam and Jewish-German Self Understanding."

Tell Us Your Story

We're interested in where you've been since graduating from Dartmouth!

The Legacy of a Nazi Church

A group that includes an imam, a rabbi, and a minister plans to build a multi-faith prayer space atop the ruins of St. Peter’s Church in Berlin, but critics say the group is ignoring the site’s “horrific past,” The Atlantic writes.

Noted German historian Manfred Gailus has brought attention to the site’s history, says the magazine, including the notoriously anti-Semitic pastor of the church during the 1940s, Walter Hoff, and his role in the Holocaust.

Gailus’ academic colleague, Professor of Religion Susannah Heschel, who holds the Eli Black Professorship in Jewish Studies at Dartmouth, corroborates Gailus’ view of the pastor. Heschel tells the magazine, “Up until the 1980s, when American historians started to investigate the role of German churches in National Socialism, German church historians only focused on the resistance movement. Their story was that the Church was opposed to Hitler. And it wasn’t. Some members opposed Hitler, but many did not—many pastors actively backed Hitler.”

Proposed Treatment for Genetic Diseases Raises Issues

Research that some believe could lead to the creation of “designer babies” has raised a number of ethical issues, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a hearing later this month to consider them, NPR reports.

The research in question would make changes to some of the genetic material in a woman’s egg, and thereby, the scientists hope, prevent genetically transmitted diseases from being passed down through the generations, NPR reports.

To address some of the ethical changes raised by the research, NPR turns for comment to Dartmouth’s Ronald Green, a professor of religion, the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values.

Black-Jewish Relations at Their Best

In a story about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, The Washington Post takes a look at how recent events commemorating the 1963 march have evoked memories of the relations between African Americans and Jews, groups closely aligned in the early days of the civil rights movement.

Dartmouth’s Susannah Heschel, who attended the 50th anniversary event on August 28, tells the Post that the movement’s shift since the 1960s has affected relations between Jews and African Americans.

The two groups’ relations have changed from one based in churches to one active mostly in courts and legislatures, reducing the “religious dimension,” she tells the Post. “It was the religious dimension that brought us together. What does it mean to link arms and sing We Shall Overcome? Is that political or spiritual?”

Heschel, the Eli Black Professor in Jewish Studies in Dartmouth’s Department of Religion, is the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a philosopher who marched with King in Selma, Ala.

Pages