Meeting Program

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The 18th Annual Meeting of the CCJR will occur on Sunday, October 27 and Monday, October 28, 2019.

It will be hosted by the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  


It will be held in conjunction with a conference at Muhlenberg College titled, “Passing the Word” to mark the 25th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s “Declaration to the Jewish Community.” The IJCU’s annual Wallenberg Tribute and Dinner will be part of the festivities.

Local Information: 

Meals: All meal costs are included in the conference fee. See the registration form to record your meal choices.

Shevet Achim Award

The CCJR Board of Directors is delighted to announce that the 2019 Shevet Achim Award for Outstanding Contributions to Christian-Jewish Relations will be awarded to Dr. Amy-Jill Levine of Vanderbilt University. See HERE

CCJR Meeting Fee

The conference fee is $79. Checks should be made payable to “CCJR.” See the accompanying registration form. Please register by October 1, 2019. However, keep in mind that hotel reservations must be made by October 17. Note that the CCJR meeting extends through to dinner on Monday at which Wallenberg honoree Dr. Jesper Svartvik will deliver the closing keynote. Please add $20 for this dinner.


A Special Invitation from the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations
The CSG will be holding its fall meeting at Muhlenberg beginning with dinner on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 and concluding with lunch on Sunday, Oct. 27, just before the CCJR meeting. ALL CCJR members are invited to join in the discussions of works in progress and items of current concern. The same conference hotel rate is available, and meals will be individually purchased at Muhlenberg College. Check the indicated box on the CCJR registration form to receive further information.



Meeting Schedule

Sunday, October 27, 2019 

[Lunch is available on a pay-on-your-own basis in the Muhlenberg Student Union, which has a kosher kitchen.]


1:30-3:00 pm   CCJR Panel 1 Seegers Union 108-110

Comparative Theology and Christian-Jewish Relations:

Comparative theology has been described as both comparative and theological from start to finish. One of its leading figures, Francis Clooney, writes that, “It marks acts of faith seeking understanding which are rooted in a particular faith tradition but which, from that foundation, venture into learning from one or more other faith traditions. This learning is sought for the sake of fresh theological insights that are indebted to the newly encountered tradition/s as well as the home tradition.” In this panel, Dr. Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski will draw on his work as a comparative theologian to reflect on its potential contributions to Jewish-Christian relations. He will illustrate how a deep engagement with the Jewish tradition has led him towards a non-supersessionist Christian theology and raise questions for how this informs the work of scholars in Jewish-Christian relations.

  • Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski (Seminary of the Southwest)


  • Dr. Joseph Kelley (Merrimack College)
  • Rabbi Dr. Ruth Sandberg (Gratz College)
3:00-3:30 pm transit to next venue  
3:30-4:30 pm  Public Keynote: Wallenberg Tribute Lecture  Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

 On Different Grounds: Jewish and Christian Understandings of the Middle East

  • Dr. Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt University) 
  • Shevet Achim honoree: Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
4:30-5:30 pm Reception Seegers Union Event Space
5:30-8:00 pm

Wallenberg Tribute / CCJR Dinner

Wallenberg Honoree: Rev. Dr. Jesper Svartvik (Karlstad Diocese, Church of Sweden) 

 Seegers Union 111-113

Monday, October 28, 2019   

7:30 am Breakfast: Allentown Park Hotel  
9:00-10:30 am CCJR Annual Business Meeting   Seegers Union 108-110
10:30-11:00 am Break [arrival of "Passing the Word" conference participants]  Seegers Union 111-113
11 am-12:30 pm CCJR Panel 2  Seegers Union 111-113
Lutheran Liturgy and Jewish-Christian Relations 

The renewed relationships between Christians and Jews challenges many of our communities' long-held liturgical traditions. The panelists will hold a conversation about these challenges, their roots, solutions that have been implemented, and issues that still require attention.

  • Rev. Dr. Scott S. Ickert (United Lutheran Seminary; ELCA Pastor, retired)
  • Rabbi Dr. Ruth Langer (Boston College)
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch (SCJR advisory board meeting over lunch) Seegers Union Event Space 
1:30-3:00 pm CCJR Panel 3  Seegers Union 111-113
Doing Our Respective Theologies Together 

In recent decades, Jewish and Christian scholars have been collaborating more and more. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that the level of interaction has reached historically unprecedented levels. Two CCJR members whose academic duties include regular team-teaching, ongoing study together, and joint research will lead a discussion of such questions as: What role does my own religious affiliation play? What are the boundaries between my Jewish or Christian identity and my commenting on or critiquing the traditions or actions of the other community? How is my self-understanding impacted by a deeper understanding of the related other tradition?

  • Dr. Philip A. Cunningham (Saint Joseph’s University)
  • Dr. Adam Gregerman (Saint Joseph’s University)
 3:00-3:30 pm break   
 3:30-5:00 pm CCJR Panel 4  Seegers Union 111-113
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Interreligious Relations in 2019  

2019 is the 25th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Declaration to the Jewish Community repudiating Martin Luther’s anti-Jewish invective and expressing the church’s desire to “live our faith with love and respect for the Jewish people.” In August of 2019, the Church-wide Assembly of the ELCA voted on an additional policy statement A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment. This session will give an overview of the broader interfaith life of the ELCA, and how the particular Jewish-Lutheran relationship informs the church’s engagement with other religious communities.

  • Kathryn Mary Lohre (Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, ELCA)
5:00 pm  Reception, Dinner, and Recognitions  Seegers Union Event Space 

Challenges and Opportunities that Lie Ahead

  • Rev. Dr. Jesper Svartvik (Karlstad Diocese, Church of Sweden)