Lutheran Studies Conference Schedule

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Scandinavian Cultural Center in the Anderson University Center
Each session will also be live-streamed on PLU’s YouTube channel

Resisting An Ancient Hatred Today: Antisemitism in Church and Society

Since 2016, hate speech and crimes directed at members of the Jewish community in the U.S. have increased sharply. Such crimes have been fueled by Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists, and Christian Nationalists. At the same time, many Christian and other religious communities have remained silent as attacks have increased. This conference invites participants to consider the religious and political sources that continue to nurture the evil of antisemitism and to join in resisting one of the oldest hatreds in human history. As a Lutheran university committed to thoughtful care for other people and their communities, the opportunity to encourage resistance to any and all forms of hate speech is an integral part of our mission.

11:45am – Lunch for ELCA congregational leaders with discussion of the ELCA Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment:

1:00pm – Resisting Antisemitism in Congregational Life
Dr. Samuel Torvend (Professor Emeritus of Religion and Priest for Adult Formation at Christ Church Episcopal) will discuss the ways in which congregational leaders can deal responsibly with sources of antisemitism in the Christian tradition and in Christian worship and education. Workshop Handout

2:00pm – Recognizing Contemporary Hate Speech through Luther’s Anti-Jewish Writings
Dr. Marit Trelstad (University Chair in Lutheran Studies) will ask participants to recognize how Luther’s virulent anti-Jewish writings, denounced and rejected by the ELCA, can serve as a lens for discerning various contemporary forms of hate speech present in social media.

3:00pm – The Art of Memorializing Hate Crimes
On the morning of October 27, 2018, an assailant killed eleven and wounded seven worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. Since then, a new plan has emerged to memorialize that tragic event. In this presentation, Dr. Heather Mathews (Associate Professor of Art History) will invite participants to consider the significance of memorials, not only for the past but also as orientations to the future.

4:00pm – Antisemitic extremists, Christian Nationalism, and Protecting Jews
Dr. Lisa Marcus (Chair, Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program), Dr. Seth Dowland (Associate Professor of American Religious History), and Rabbi Bruce Kadden (Lecturer in Judaism and Holocaust Studies) will invite discussion of some of the toxic sources of antisemitism and the efforts to protect Jewish communities.

7:00pm – The Seventeenth David and Marilyn Knutson Lecture
“From Religion to Politics: Antisemitism and Jew Hatred From Ancient Times Until Today”
Dr. Marc Dollinger, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, will invite participants to consider how antisemitism has moved from its religious moorings to a political phenomenon in contemporary U.S. culture. At the conclusion of Dr. Dollinger’s lecture, there will be time for discussion. Lecture Handout