Annual Research Colloquium: “Explorations at the Intersection of Religious Pluralism and Jewish-Christian Dialogue”

Posted on January 2nd, 2011 | Filed under Best Practices/Non-Profit, Faith and Politics, InterViews, On Campus

Spend the month of July in New York working on a research or writing project related to the theme Explorations at the Intersection of Religious Pluralism and Jewish-Christian Dialogue, with access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Union, Auburn, and Jewish Theological Seminaries.


The 2011 Research Colloquium seeks applications for individual research projects relating to the theme
Explorations at the Intersection ofReligious Pluralism and Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Application deadline is February 1, 2011.

The 2011 summer Research Colloquium aims at bringing into conversation two discourses that currently run on parallel tracks. On the one hand, there is the discourse on religious pluralism and comparative theologies, which theorizes and reflects on the changing landscape of religious belongings in a globalized and pluralist world, such as multiple religious identities, religious hybridity and migration patterns, or conflicts between various world religions. On the other hand there is the Jewish-Christian relations discourse which has evolved with renewed urgency after the devastating impact of the Shoah and the founding of the State of Israel.

The Colloquium will bring together fellows who have worked on either one of these two parallel tracks and offer them an opportunity for in-depth scholarly exploration of commonalities and differences. By creating an environment conducive to research, open reflection and scholarly inquiry, participants are encouraged to learn from both the plurality of religious voices and the particularity of the case of Jewish-Christian dialogue.

There is a richness of resources that has accumulated in the research and literature on Jewish-Christian relations, but the discourse on Jewish-Christian dialogue may have suffered from a parochial narrowing of perspective. There is a visionary potential for religious plurality, but without deep engagement within a spiritual tradition it may suffer from civic indifference toward communities with deeply-felt religious roots.

At the Colloquium, participants of diverse backgrounds that represent areas of interest in either of the two discourses mentioned above will spend the length of four weeks together, pursuing individual research as well as gathering as a group for focused and facilitated discussions.

The Colloquium is led and facilitated by professors Katharina von Kellenbach, Karla Suomala, Björn Krondorfer and Charles Henderson. We already have a commitment from CrossCurrents, under the guest-editorship of Karla Suomala and Katharina von Kellenbach, to put together a themed volume on these explorations as they emerge in the colloquium.

If you have further questions about the content of the Colloquium, please contact Björn Krondorfer, Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, bhkrondorfer@smcm.edu

Karla Suomala, Associate Professor, Religion Department, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, suomka01@luther.edu.

Katharina von Kellenbach, Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, kvonkellenbach@smcm.edu

Application Process:
The Colloquium runs for four weeks during July. Those who are selected for a fellowship are referred to as "Coolidge Scholars" after William A. Coolidge, the principal benefactor of this program. Each Coolidge Scholar works on his or her own project, but benefits by being able to collaborate with others. The collegial relationships that develop within the group are a crucial element of this program and one of its distinctive aspects.

The daily schedule allows a balance of structured and unstructured time, including:

1. Time for individual research, reflection and consultation with fellows and staff   2. Seminars for facilitated and focused discussion that also integrate work-in-progress reports by fellows   3. Common meals and opportunities to explore the artistic and cultural resources of New York City.

The Colloquium is residential and provides fellows with room and board (vegetarian/kosher food available) and access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Teachers College, Union, Auburn and Jewish Theological Seminaries. Participants are required to pay a $125 registration fee upon acceptance plus the cost of travel.

Applications should be sent via an email that includes:

1) Title and brief description of the applicant's proposed project. 2) A brief resume including religious affiliation or preference, academic standing and professional experience. 3) The names, titles, institutional addresses and telephone numbers of two references. (You do not need to have these persons write a letter; we will contact references as needed.)

The successful applicant will be capable of writing for a publication of the caliber of CrossCurrents. Normally, fellows will hold doctorates; some will have professional degrees; a few will qualify by reason of equivalent experience.  For ideas on the types of projects we encourage, please check the CrossCurrents website to view back issues of the journal.

If you have any further questions about the Colloquium or would like to explore the appropriateness of a project you are thinking about, please contact:

Charles Henderson, CrossCurrents, Executive DirectorEmail: colloquium@crosscurrents.org Tel: 212-870-2544 or Cell: 917-439-2305

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