IONA

Annual Driscoll Lectures in Jewish-Catholic Studies

The annual lecture highlights 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:

  • 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 explores 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.