On 1 and 2 February 2018, the Institute of Jewish Studies of the University of Antwerp and the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp are organizing the conference Jews and Jesuits: Contacts Across the Ages with a keynote lecture by Robert A. Maryks, director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.
This conference is being held to mark the tenth anniversary of the Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations. The conference will focus on the interactions and mutual influences between the Society of Jesus and Jewish communities throughout history, including today.
The Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations was born of a concern that we owe it to each other to study each other's traditions, especially so as to understand the contributions of Jewish-Christian exchanges to contemporary European culture. The chair aims to explore common themes in order to reinterpret events from a current perspective and understand them through a historical lens.
The Catholic Reformation, triggered to a large extent by the Jesuits, had significant impact on Jews and Judaism, especially in early modern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. The Jesuit university, particularly its commitment to humanistic learning, natural philosophy and science, served as a model for some Jews; so too did the spiritual discipline the Jesuits sought to impose on the laity. Jesuits also left their mark on the conversos and their search for religious meaning between Judaism and Christianity. Another realm of contact was the publication of books, specifically Christian Hebraica, and the role of censorship in early modern Europe.
Paul Begheyn sj
founder and director of the Netherlands Institute of Jesuit Studies
associate professor and chair of the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, Chicago
senior research associate at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge, and college research associate of St John's College, Cambridge
Robert A. Maryks
associate director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College
senior lecturer in the comparative study of sacred texts and their theologies at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney
David B. Ruderman
Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Jewish History
Claude (Dov) B. Stuczynski
associate professor at the Department of General History (Bar-Ilan University) and board
member of the Center for the Study of Conversions and Interreligious Encounters (CSOC) at Ben-Gurion University
Piet van Boxel
emeritus Curator of Judaica and Hebraica (2007-2011) at the Bodleian Library, Oxford
chair of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Amsterdam