Interreligious Dialogue and Leadership - Building Relationships as Persons
Rabbi Abraham Skorka
The 20th century saw the displacement of the traditional religions in occident by new anthropocentric pagan doctrines, Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, being among the most conspicuous examples of them. Since the seventies of the last century, and after the fall of those regimes, a return to the traditional religions occurred. But it was not a return to the tradition through a renew of the religiosity of its spirit, but a return, in many cases, to their fanatic expressions. The challenge of this lecture is to enhance a deep interreligious dialogue in order to build up a different reality in which the dramatic failures of the last century will not repeat in this century and forever.
Bishop Patrick McGrath (Diocese of San Jose) and Rabbi Dana Magat (Temple Emanu-El) will serve as respondents at this event, reflecting on their friendship and the role of friendship within interreligious dialogue and community. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, and the Diocese of San Jose.
Rabbi Abraham Skorka is rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, the rabbi of the Jewish community Benei Tikva, professor of biblical and rabbinic literature at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano and honorary professor of Hebrew Law at the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires. Rabbi Skorka graduated from the Seminario Rabinio Latinamericano in 1973 with ordination as a rabbi and also received the degree of Doctor (HC) from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. In 1979 he also earned his doctorate in Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2010 the Universidad Católica Argentina awarded him a doctorate honoris causa, marking the first time in Latin America that a Catholic university had given this title to a rabbi. With then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), Rabbi Skorka held a series of inter-religious conversations on topics such as God, fundamentalism, atheists, death, holocaust, homosexuality, and capitalism. These dialogues alternately took place at the seat of the bishop and at the Jewish Community Benei Tikva. They were published in 2010 in a book titled Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (Between Heaven and Earth). Most recently Rabbi Skorka accompanied Pope Francis and Omar Abboud (a leader of Argentina’s Muslim community) to Jordan, the West bank, and Israel.