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Detail from an oil painting: portrait of Moses Mendelssohn in half profile, the eyes are directed at the viewer, the left eye is highlighted by a red frame

Mendelssohn Discourse

Power: Tradition, State, Religion (in person and via livestream)

This event has been cancelled.

The freedoms of religion and opinion and the separation between religion and state are a legacy of the European Enlighten­ment, of which Moses Mendelssohn was a representative. In 1783, he published his book Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism exploring the relation­ships between worldly power and religion, between sovereignty and the boundaries of religious communities. Even if Mendelssohn personally found a way to resolve the contra­dictions between secularity and individual faith, the Enlighten­ment did not automatically bring an end to existing conflicts between worldly and religious power, or between the state and resident religious communities – and this conflict endures today, as demonstrated by the recent circumcision debate in Germany or the current debate over abortion in the United States.

The second installment of the Mendelssohn Discourses examines questions of conscience, the state, and freedom of religion – as well as the topical impli­cations of Mendelssohn’s positions for our own time.

This event has been cancelled.

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)


Philosopher and theologian Daniel Krochmalnik and theologian and religious educator Tuba Isik in conver­sation with the curators Inka Bertz and Thomas Lackmann, moderated by Frederek Musall.

Daniel Krochmalnik is Professor of Jewish Religion and Philosophy at the University of Potsdam, Managing Director of the School of Jewish Theology, and co-editor of Gesammelte Schiften: Jubiläums­ausgabe von Moses Mendelssohn (Collected Writings: The Anniversary Edition of Moses Mendelssohn).

Tuba Isik has held the Chair of Islamic Religious Pedagogy and Practical Theology at the Berlin Institute of Islamic Theology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since 2020.

Further Event in the Series on 5 July

Moderated by Frederek Musall and with a rotating cast of panelists, the Mendelssohn Discourses take Moses Mendelssohn’s writings as a point of departure for discussions of contemporary issues and debates. Each of the three discussion events is devoted to a thematic area: Enlightenment: Fake News, Sentimentality, Reason; Power: Tradition, State, Religion; Media Revolution: The Public Sphere, Celebrity, and the Proliferation of Imagery.

Events Pro­gram by the Mendels­sohn-Gesell­schaft

In addi­tion to the Jewish Mu­seum Berlin's pro­grams, the Mendels­sohn-Gesell­schaft is orga­nizing events accom­panying the exhi­bition.
More infor­mation and regis­tration here

Where, when, what?

  • When This event has been cancelled.
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium

    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)

    See location on map

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Events accompanying the exhibition: “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn (9)