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Annual Driscoll Lectures in Jewish-Catholic Studies

The annual lectures highlight the work of Jewish and Catholic scholars in an effort to illuminate either the broader history of Jewish-Catholic relations or specific topics that bear on the understanding between the two faiths.


Past Lectures and Events:

  • The Nazi Hunters
    Award-winning journalist and author Andrew Nagorski led a lecture about those who searched for and prosecuted Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials, including the experiences of the young American prosecutors in the Nuremberg and Dachau trials.
    Date: April 26, 2017

  • Seeking Common Ground: Communicating in Times of Division
    As part of the Shared Roots, Divergent Paths Series, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan and Fr. Wil Tyrell, SA of the Duchesne Center for Religion and Social Justice (Manhattanville College) discussed how the texts and traditions of our religions guide us to dialogue and reconciliation with those with whom we disagree deeply in times of division.
    Date: April 4, 2017

  • Bible, History and Archaeology
    The Rabbi Michael A. Signer Memorial Lecture featured Dr. Rachel Hallote, professor of History at SUNY Purchase College. She explored ways in which archaeology and non-biblical texts help illuminate the history of the Hebrew Bible.
    Date: March 2, 2017

  • Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration: Italy and the Holocaust
    Film Screening of My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes

    Following the film, there was a Q&A with Vincent Marmorale, president of the Italy and the Holocaust Foundation and major contributor to the film.
    Date: November 21, 2016

  • Yasmina’s Necklace: A Play by Rohina Malik
    The Driscoll Professorship joins Iona’s Week of the Peacemaker to presents two staged readings of the critically acclaimed new play about Iraqi refugees and Latino Muslims. "A beautifully-crafted love story in which the Middle-Eastern refugee crises and immigrant assimilation anxiety are woven seamlessly into a character drama." - ChicagoCritic.com
    Date: November 2, 2016

  • Self-Evident? Ethical Challenges of Voting
    Distinguished Lecturers: Professor Michael Peppard, Fordham University; Professor Burton Visotzky, Jewish Theological Seminary; Professor Jerusha Lamptey, Union Theological Seminary
    Date: September 29, 2016

  • Medicine in Auschwitz
    Distinguished Lecturer: Professor Teresa Wontor-Cichy, Research Centre of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim, Poland
    Date: September 20, 2016

  • The Jewish Jesus & Pope Benedict XVI: Borders and Boundaries in Jewish-Catholic Dialogue
    Iona College hosted this event on September 8, 2015 in the Spellman Hall Faculty Reception Room.

  • From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965
    Invited scholar, John Connelly, Ph.D. has taught the history of East Central Europe at the University of California Berkeley since 1994.
    From Enemy to Brother illuminates the baffling silence of the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, showing how the ancient teaching of deicide-according to which the Jews were condemned to suffer until they turned to Christ-constituted the Church's only language to talk about the Jews. As he explores the process of theological change, John Connelly moves from the speechless Vatican to those Catholics who endeavored to find a new language to speak to the Jews on the eve of, and in the shadow of, the Holocaust, (Harvard Press, 2012).

  • Thomas Merton and Abraham Joshua Heschel: Partners in Prayer, Peace, and Interfaith Dialogue
    Dr. Mary Christine Athans, BVM, PhD explored how Heschel and Merton integrated spirituality and the quest for social justice.  Merton's extant correspondence with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from December 1960 - December 1966 offers a brief window into kindred spirits who were deeply committed to prayer, to the efforts for peace, and to the interfaith dialogue. As both mystics and social activists, Merton and Herschel were challenged to integrate spirituality and the quest for social justice. Reflecting on their lives and selected writings can deepen our own insights into what it means to accept that challenge in our own lives.