The Program on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is pleased to announce its annual seminar for faculty and qualified doctoral students from all disciplines entitled, Interreligious Studies and the Holocaust: New Research, New Conversations. Clergy and non-clergy professionally engaged in interreligious work are also welcome to apply.

In recent years new research about minority religious communities throughout Nazi-occupied Europe and North Africa has opened a new lens into interreligious dynamics and the history of different religious communities under National Socialism. This seminar will begin with an overview of the history of the international interreligious movement in the early twentieth century, with a particular focus on the role played during the Holocaust by diverse religious leaders and communities in Nazi Germany and Nazi occupied territories. Post-Holocaust theological approaches, the challenges of addressing the past, issues of memory and reconciliation, and the Holocaust’s legacy for interreligious issues will be addressed as well. The seminar will also explore different pedagogical approaches for incorporating Holocaust scholarship into the broader field of interreligious studies, with a particular focus on the work of Muslim scholars.

The seminar will be co-led by Drs. Mehnaz Afridi and Victoria Barnett. Mehnaz Afridi is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She is the author of Shoah through Muslim Eyes (2017) published by Academic Studies Press and is currently working on a book on Islam, Memory, and Genocide. She is guest editor of a Special Issue "Remembering Jewish-Muslim Encounters: Challenges and Cooperation" in Religions and was co-editor of Global Perspectives on Orhan Pamuk: Existentialism and Politics (2012) published by Palgrave Macmillan. Victoria Barnett directs the Museum’s Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust. She is currently working on a book on the international engagement of the US interfaith movement during the Nazi era. She was one of the general editors of the multivolume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English Edition, the translation of the complete writings of Bonhoeffer published by Fortress Press. She is the author of “After Ten Years”: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Our Times (2017); Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity during the Holocaust (1999), and For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest against Hitler (1992).

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about Museum resources for their teaching and consult and interact with Museum staff and visiting scholars. More information about the Museum’s programs on the historical role of religion during the Holocaust and the ways in which religious institutions, leaders, and theologians have addressed this history and its legacy since 1945 can be found at Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust.