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The International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) looks upon the current resurgence of antisemitism with alarm and revulsion. The ICCJ was founded in 1947, following a pivotal “Emergency Conference on Antisemitism” at Seelisberg, Switzerland. That conference was a Christian and Jewish response to the antisemitism that led to and still persisted after the Shoah (Holocaust). In the wake of Seelisberg, numerous Christian churches repudiated past teachings of contempt and labelled antisemitism as a sin against God and humanity. They embarked on an unprecedented effort to dismantle the religious antagonism that had fuelled hostility to Jews for so long and to replace it with theologies promoting interreligious friendship and collaboration.
 
Frustratingly, this revolutionary reform occurs at a time when religious communities have limited power to reverse the antipathy they helped embed in Western culture...
International Council of Christians and Jews release Statement on Antisemitism (7 March 2018)

On Friday March 1st  some fifteen senior leaders of Churches from across Victoria gathered at Bishopscourt in East Melbourne to welcome Archbishop Comensoli.

Thanks was extended to Archbishop Philip Freier for hosting the event. This was the first such gathering in a number of years and brought together both regional and metropolitan leaders...
Heads of Churches in Victoria welcome Archbishop Peter Comensoli (1 March 2019)

The annual Christian ecumenical Shoah Memorial Service was held Monday 19 March 2018 at Melbourne Grammar School. The evening was organised by a joint committee of members of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne Committee for Interfaith Relations, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, and the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Working Group on Christian-Jewish Relations. Approximately 100 people gathered in a darkened St Peter’s Chapel.
 
The service is a Christian commemoration of the tragedy of the Holocaust, but a Shoah survivor is always invited to speak and a member of the Jewish community recites the Kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer for those who have died. This year Philip Bliss OAM, chair of the Council of Christians and Jews, prayed the Kaddish and Sarah Saaroni OAM, a child Shoah survivor, was the voice of memory.
2018 Annual Shoah Memorial Service (19 March 2018)

On Sunday 29 October 2017, approximately 50 people gathered at the Eva Besen Centre in Caulfield (home of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia - Victoria) to hear presentations from four speakers on the topic of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. This was a timely discussion as the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has been passed by the lower house of the Victorian Parliament and is about to be debated in the Upper house this week.
 
The four speakers were Rev. David Brooker, Rev. Associate Professor John Dupuche, Raphael Dascalu, and Rabbi Kim Ettlinger.
 
Council of Christians and Jews: A Panel Discussion on Voluntary Assisted Dying (Sunday 29 October 2017)

A special Lutheran and Catholic joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation took place on Saturday night (28 October) at St John’s Lutheran Church Southgate, featuring messages from Archbishop Denis Hart and Bishop Lester Priebbenow and the presentation of a Bach cantata “O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe” (BWV 34). The service was attended by more than 200 local members of the Catholic and Lutheran churches.

According to an historical legend, on 31 October 1517 in the University town of Wittenberg in Saxony, an Augustinian friar and biblical scholar Dr Martin Luther posted the document which later became known as “The 95 Theses”. This document raised questions about the indulgence campaign which was being promoted by the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg to raise money for the rebuilding of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This scholarly document ignited a movement that became known to history as “The Protestant Reformation”.
Reformation 500: Joint Lutheran and Catholic Commemoration in Melbourne (28 October 2017)

Events
2019 International Comparative Theology Conference (Australian Catholic University)
Start Date/Time:
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
End Date/Time:
Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Recurring Event:
One time event
Importance:
Normal Priority
Description:
International Conference on Comparative Theology  
 
Identities transformed or transgressed? Exploring new frontiers in comparative theology and interreligious learning.  
 
Tuesday 23 - Wednesday 24 July 2019
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus
115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia  
 
Clooney’s articulation of the central premise and core activity of comparative theology provides an important corrective to the dominant ethos of our times: one marked by a binary opposition of ‘us against them’. Rather than fuelling modern day identity politics, comparative theology provides a means of transcending boundaries and occupying hybrid spaces of religious encounter and dialogue. While some may see such an encounter with difference as transgressive, comparative theology maintains that it is precisely in learning with and from the other that one’s own identity is enriched.
 
Keynote Speakers:
 
Professor Francis X ClooneySJ, Harvard University, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology
Professor Marianne Moyaert, VU Amsterdam, Professor of Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue
Reverend Dr Diego Sarrió Cucarella, Pontifical  Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI), Rector and Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and editor of the PISAI journal Islamochristiana
Dr Emmanuel Nathan, Australian Catholic University, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Comparative Theology
Dr Makoto Sawai, Kyoto University, Japan, has a research focus largely on mystical Islam
 
General Admission: $300
Unwaged and non-ACU students: AUD $150
ACU staff and students: Free to attend
 
Online registration is essential and includes two-day conference, coffee breaks and lunches.
For more information and to register to attend: : acu.edu.au/ctconf2019
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