Bannan Visitors

The Bannan Visitors program was a program designed to invite individuals to SCU to engage in issues or activities that support the Jesuit and Catholic character. While the program is no longer active, past visitors provided a rich array of resources to the University.

“Abrahamic Peace: Medieval Pathways, Modern Settings”

by Peter Ochs |

These events were co-sponsored by the Religious Studies Department, Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies Interdisciplinary Program (AIMES), Campus Ministry, and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.

The Lecture & Demonstration Workshop
Medieval commentaries on ancient Scriptures are not usually promoted as powerful resources for peace among Muslims, Jews, and Christians today. But this is the theme of a recent collection co-edited by Peter Ochs and Stacy Johnson: Crisis, Call, and Leadership in the Abrahamic Traditions. And this was the theme of Ochs’s lecture on April 14th.

In his lecture, Ochs offered illustrations of medieval commentary; he narrated what happened when eighteen scholars of the three commentary traditions studied scripture together for days at a time; and he reflected on the experiences of learning and peace reported by about twenty on-going groups of this kind in North America and the United Kingdom.

On the second day of his visit, Professor Ochs lead a demonstration workshop on the kind of inter-Abrahamic religious dialogue that he discussed in his formal lecture.

The Lecturer
Peter Ochs is the Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at The University of Virginia, where has served since 1997. He currently directs UVA's Religious Studies graduate program in “Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice” – an interdisciplinary approach to the Abrahamic traditions, and is co-founder of both The Children of Abraham Institute and the Society for Scriptural Reasoning. He has held teaching positions at Drew University, Colgate University, and the University of Maryland, College Park, as well as visiting lectureships at Hebrew Union College and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Ochs holds a Ph.D. and B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

His research addresses three primary subjects: the relation of contemporary Jewish thought to the classical biblical and rabbinic sources; relations among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions of scriptural interpretation; and relations among contemporary religious, philosophic, and scientific reasoning. He is currently completing book projects on Recent Christian Theology and the Jews, Muslim-Jewish-Christian Dialogues on Scripture and Reason, Philosophy and Jewish Prayer, and Quantum Theory and Theology.

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