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Judaism and Islam in the Diaspora

Dialogical lecture series as part of the Jewish-Islamic Forum of the Academy programs

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.


W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin

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. Each event in the series invites two scholars to present these themes, from a Jewish and Islamic viewpoint respectively, and to enter into dialogue with each other.

Program flyer (detail)

Lecture Series: Judaism & Islam in the Diaspora (with video footage) (5)

Judaism & Islam in the Diaspora (with video footage)

The series of panel discussions explored topical questions that Jews and Muslims in the diaspora confront in their everyday religious practice. Each event featured two academics presenting the Jewish and Islamic perspectives.

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Feminist Approaches to Judaism and Islam

14 April 2016
Panel Discussion with Judith Plaskow, religious scholar and author of one of the first works of Jewish feminist theology, New York and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, researcher on Islamic law and gender, London.

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Organic Meets Kosher and Halal

1 June 2016
Panel Discussion with Shai Lavi, Professor of Law and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University, and Sarra Tlili, University of Florida.

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Religious Law and Secular State

9 December 2015
Panel Discussion with Ronen Reichman, Professor of Talmud, Codices, and Rabbinic Literature at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg and Mathias Rohe, Professor of Civil Law, Private International Law, and Comparative Law as well as head of the Erlangen Center for Islam and the Law in Europe (EZIRE), Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg.

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What Does Diaspora Mean for Jews and Muslims?

29 October 2015
Panel Discussion with Michael L. Satlow, Professor of Judaic Studies and Religious Studies at Brown University, Providence and Sarah Albrecht, research associate at the Institute of Islamic Studies, Free University Berlin.

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Becoming a Jew, Becoming a Muslim

18 February 2016
Panel Discussion with Tobias Jona Simon, rabbi of the Association of Jewish Communities in Lower Saxony and Esra Özyürek, professor for Contemporary Turkish Studies at the European Institute, London School of Economics.