Leading figure in the Christian-Jewish dialogue to deliver annual Fairfield University lecture on where relations between the two faiths are headed


The third annual Fairfield University Lecture in Jewish-Christian Engagement will explore the papacy of Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church's relationship to Judaism, as well as the extent to which Pope Benedict XVI has continued the initiatives of Pope John Paul II.

The talk, entitled "Benedict XVI and the Jews: Change or Continuity?" will be delivered on Monday, March 30 by a leading figure in the Christian-Jewish dialogue, Rev. John Pawlikowski, O.S.M., the director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at  Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of  theology and ministry in the country.

Co-sponsored by Fairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies, the event is free and open to the public. It will take place at 8 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

Fr. Pawlikowski, who is also professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union, will offer an outline of Benedict's approach to the church's relationship to Judaism, both as Pope Benedict and prior to his being named to the papacy. His talking points will include the papacy's stands on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. He has more than 15 books to his credit, including co-editing (with Judith Banki) "Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust." He has also served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Fr. Pawlikowski, who is president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, will also elaborate on the theological and ethical aspects of the Catholic-Jewish relationship, the changing Jewish-Catholic relationship after Vatican II, and the possible impact of recent church decisions on relations between the two faiths.

Fr. Pawlikowski is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award from The American Jewish Committee. His books include "Christ in the Light of the Christian Jewish Dialogue," "Jewish-Christian Dialogue: Drawing Honey from the Rock," and "Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation about the Bible."

Call the Bennett Center to reserve seats at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066. For more information on the Bennett Center, visit fairfield.edu/judaic. For more information on the Center for Catholic Studies, visit fairfield.edu/catholicstudies.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 17, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 254