"Troubling Tradition" Interfaith Conference

In a two-day conference co-sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, prominent religious scholars, clergy and seminarians from across the country gathered to discuss some of the most controversial inter-religious issues.

The seminar, entitled "Troubling Tradition: Wrestling With Problem Passages," examined passages from texts of the three religious traditions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - that suggest superiority over the other faiths. One of the central ideas addressed was that of "chosenness" and how the different traditions interpret their own distinction and pass that information on to their adherents.

Conference highlights included a keynote presentation entitled "Redeeming Sacred Texts from Their Sacrilegious Uses," featuring Dr. Mary Boys from Union Theological Seminary, with responses by Rabbi Laura Geller of Temple Emanuel and Rev. Dr. Clyde Owen of Bryant Temple AME Church. The hope of the conference was to foster better understanding of participants' own religious traditions, as well as the traditions of others.

The event, held at the Luxe Hotel on November 15-16, 2007, was a partnership of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

You can read news coverage of the conference, by the Los Angeles Times and the Jewish Journal, by visiting our In The News page.

FEDER@TION IN FOCUS content copyright The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Papers on the theme of "Troubling Tradition: Wrestling with Problem Passages" presented at the conference are available in PDF format.

Keynote Address:
Redeeming Sacred Texts from their Sacrilegious Uses
Dr. Mary C. Boys, S.N.J.M.
Union Theological Seminary, New York City

Keynote Response:
On "Pour out Your wrath on them"
Rabbi Laura Geller
Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanuel, Beverly Hills

On "He who does not believe will be condemned"
Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

"Let every person be subject"
The Contemporary Relevance of Romans 13

Dr. Richard J. Mouw
Fuller Theological Seminary

The Problematic of Chosenness
Dr. Reuven Firestone
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion