Dialogical Lecture Series

Overview of All Previous Lecture Series with Video Recordings

From 2015 to 2020, we hosted a regular lecture series as part of our Jewish Islamic Forum. Two researchers were invited to each event to present a topic from Jewish and Islamic perspectives and to enter into dialog with each other.

On this page you can learn more about the different series and find video recordings of each lecture.

The Others’ Faith. World Religions through the Lens of Judaism and Islam (2019/20)

This lecture series explores Judaism and Islam's complex relationship to the other religions. Along with Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, the series also examines their relationship to atheism, as well as the theological history of the relationship between Judaism and Islam.

Between traditional convictions and increasing secularization, the world religions face new challenges to their own inner structures and their relationships to each other. Inter-religious relationships, whether at the individual or societal level, must be rethought or defined for the first time.

Science and Faith in Judaism and Islam (2018–19)

Scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology over the past centuries have called into question the centrality of humans as the “crown of creation.” Today, religious and scientific positions are often seen as irreconcilable.

In the past, this conflicting relationship between religion and science was hardly the rule. Many theologists were also scientists and made significant contributions to our understanding of humanity and the surrounding world.

This lecture series sets out to explore the tensions and affinities between Judaism, Islam, and the sciences. It hopes to supplement the narrative of conflict with other narratives showing that both religions’ theologies have engaged deeply and broadly with the sciences.

Jewish and Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights (2017/18)

Since the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, its principles have been regarded as a universal system of values – a moral foundation for the international community as well as for individual states.

In theory, the concept of human rights guarantees all religions and worldviews an equal place. However, since it was formulated in the Christian-European context, there is also criticism of its universal claim. The lecture series therefore explores how Judaism and Islam interpret human rights within their religious traditions.

Experts from both religions address whether and how human rights such as the right to life, freedom of expression, gender equality, and religious freedom can be theologically grounded within the two religions and put into practice.

Ethical Questions in Judaism and Islam (2016/17)

This dialogical lecture series, which was held from October 2016 to July 2017 within the framework of our Jewish-Islamic Forum, picked up on ethically sensitive issues from different areas of life.

We considered social ethics and its concept of fair social order, the business ethics of capitalism, bioethical challenges at the boundaries of life, military ethics, sexual ethics, and environmental ethics.

These issues were illuminated from Jewish and Islamic perspectives.

Judaism and Islam in the Diaspora (2015/16)

The notion of diaspora is a defining one for Judaism, but since postcolonial migration to Western Europe and other Western states, Muslims too have increasingly been confronted with issues around everyday religious practice in a minority situation. This lecture series illuminates the resulting theological debates, which sound out the tensions between autonomy and adaptation.

At the core of the processes of negotiation between tradition and modernity are questions concerning the interpretation of religious law and religious practices. That includes family law, dietary rules, the demarcation or crossing of religious identities, and reinterpretations of gender issues.

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