On the Path to Enlightenment: Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism

Lecture Series: The Others’ Faith – World Religions through the Lens of Judaism and Islam (video recording available)

The sixth event of our lecture series The Others’ Faith was dedicated to the relationship between Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.

Whereas Jews rarely came in contact with the teachings of Buddha before the nineteenth century, the spread of Islam in central and southeast Asia sparked an intensive exchange between Muslims and Buddhists.

What shape did these relationships take?

recording available



Today, the popularity of Buddhism is growing in the West. Its followers include a group known as JuBus: predominantly American Jews who have adopted Buddhist practices. What explains that interest? And how do Judaism and Islam today approach a tradition of thinking that recognizes deities but not one all-powerful and immortal God?

A discussion with Jerome Gellman (Ben-Gurion University) and Johan Elverskog (Southern Methodist University).

Edited recording of the live stream from 24 September 2020; Jewish Museum Berlin 2020

Jerome Gellman

Jerome Gellman is professor emeritus of Ben-Gurion University. He specializes in philosophy of religion and Jewish theology. Gellman has been at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions and at the Center for Philosophy of Religion, Notre Dame University. He has published seven books, the latest: Perfect Goodness and the God of the Jews.

Johan Elverskog

Johan Elverskog is Professor of Religious Studies and History at Southern Methodist University, USA. He is the author and editor of numerous publications on Asian history and cross-cultural exchange. He specializes in the history of religions, especially their spread and interactions along the Silk Road. One of his books is: Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road.

Portrait of Jerome Gellman and Johann Elverskrog

Jerome Gellman (left), photo: private and Johan Elverskog, photo: Liljana Elverskog

The event will also be broadcast by ALEX Offener Kanal Berlin.

ALEX Offener Kanal Berlin

More information

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Where, when, what?

Lecture Series 2019/20: The Others’ Faith (6)

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