The Lay Centre was pleased to host a roundtable with four experts in Jewish-Christian relations on 12 March.
The roundtable was organized for a group of 28 students from Lehigh University, located in Pennsylvania, U.S.
The students were in Rome for a one-week course, which focused on the history of inter-religious dialogue in the city, with special attention to the origins of anti-Semitism, the development of Jewish-Christian dialogue, and the contemporary manifestation of these topics as they relate to Muslims and other minority religious communities today.
The roundtable included Salesian Father Norbert J. Hofmann, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews; Prof Menachem Lorberbaum, chair of the department of Jewish Philosophy, Talmud and Kabbala at Tel Aviv University and co-director of the Center for Jewish Political Thought; Ms Lisa Palmieri-Billig, a journalist and representative of the American Jewish Committee to the Holy See and president of the Rome branch of Religions for Peace; and Ms Karma Ben-Johanan, a lecturer at the Cardinal Bea Centre for Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University.
The speakers each reflected on the ways Jewish-Catholic relations have advanced since the Second Vatican Council. They noted how the nature of dialogue between Christians and Jews has grown in mutual respect and understanding for each other’s faith, dogma and culture.