17th Annual David and Marilyn Knutson Lecture

“From Religion to Politics: Antisemitism and Jew Hatred

From Ancient Times Until Today”

Dr. Marc Dollinger

Thursday, September 29, 2022
7:00pm (Pacific time)
Scandinavian Cultural Center in the Anderson University Center
Each session will also be live-streamed on PLU’s YouTube channel


Contact: Dr. Agnes Choi, Chair of the Religion Department choiaa@plu.edu
Kendall Jeske, Director of Congregational Engagement jeskekj@plu.edu
Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of the History of Christianity torvensa@plu.edu

Free and Open to the Public

YouTube Livestream

The 17th annual David and Marilyn Knutson Lecture, the evening capstone to the 12th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference, will be given by Dr. Marc Dollinger, holder of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. The title of his lecture is, “From Religion to Politics: Antisemitism and Jew Hatred From Ancient Times Until Today.” Dr. Dollinger will speak at 7:00 PM.

Dr. Dollinger has also published on Black American and Jewish American relations (Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s, 2018) and Jewish struggles for inclusion in U.S. culture (The Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America, 2000). His forthcoming book addresses Antisemitism in U.S. culture.


Dr. Marc Dollinger, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University

I’m Marc Dollinger and I get to teach, write, and give lots of public talks as a member of the Jewish Studies faculty at San Francisco State University. Thanks to the Goldman Family (think Levi Strauss), I hold an endowed research chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, gifting me a platform to talk about my passion for Jewish social justice.

I believe it’s a scholar’s obligation (and privilege) to “complicate the narrative and deepen learning.” I bring that motto to every place I teach. Whatever you learned growing up about Jews and social justice, it’s my job to turn it on its head…and convince you to think about things in new, different, and exciting ways.

Marc Dollinger

When I was hired at SF State, its president Robert Corrigan urged me to devote my career to the “town-gown relationship.” He asked, and I gladly agreed, to become a public intellectual. I want to translate the scholarship and learning of the university into the larger community. With President Corrigan’s blessing, I jumped in, offering talks everywhere that would have me and then joining lots of Jewish organization boards to bring the benefits of high-level Jewish learning to the table.

I’m a past board president of both Brandeis-Hillel Day School and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, where my daughters received their educations (it’s true, when each of them went off to college, they wanted to know if I’d join those boards too . I didn’t.) I’ve also served on the board of Jewish LearningWorks, URJ Camp Newman, Brandeis Marin Jewish Day School, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, the Osher Marin JCC, and Ha-maqom/Lehrhaus Judaica. Currently, I serve on the board of the Jewish Community Federation here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I chair in Community Impact Committee and sit on the executive committee and the racial justice planning group.

With all this volunteerism, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco named me their volunteer of the year in 2008. My parents are still proud of me. In 2015, the Jewish Community Relations Council awarded me the year’s Courageous Leader for my work at SF State, a sometimes-hostile campus for Jews. My parents are still worried about me.

When it rains, it pours. In a single lucky month, I appeared in a PBS television show, American Jerusalem, offering insights into the history of San Francisco Jews, and then enjoyed 8 of my minutes of fame on NBC’s prime-time “Who Do You Think You Are?” teaching academy-award winning actress Helen Hunt about her San Francisco Jewish roots. While the show was canceled by the network after my episode ranked 4th in the week’s ratings, I still get cool dad points from my family and my students.

While certainly not a football player, I did get to chat with two offensive lineman from the NFL about some troubling incidents of antisemitism among NFL players. Then, CNN’s Don Lemon dedicated an episode of his podcast, “Silence Is Not An Option,” to my academic work on racism and antisemitism. Later, I appeared alongside NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson on Don Lemon’s regular CNN show. You can find links to all of these on my homepage.

Previous Knutson Lecture Scholars

2013 – John Collins
2012 – Robert N. Bellah
2011 – Marcus J. Borg
2010 – Mark Brocker
2009 – John Dominic Crossan
2008 – Susan Ross
2007 – John Pahl
2006 – Martin E. Marty