Baylor's Center for Jewish Studies to Host International Conference Honoring Renowned Theologian

Oct. 26, 2007

Media contact: Paige Patton, communications specialist, (254) 710-3321

Baylor University's Center for Jewish Studies will welcome distinguished professors to discuss renowned Jewish rabbi and theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel at the international conference - "Honoring Heschel: Celebrating the Life and Spirituality of Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Centenary of his Birth" - Nov. 1-3 on Baylor's campus.

Professor Susannah Heschel, daughter of Rabbi Heschel and The Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth University, will be the keynote speaker for the conference. She won the National Jewish Book Award for her book, Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus. Professor Heschel has edited numerous volumes of her father's work and is a widely known feminist speaker and writer.

Her first presentation titled, "Prophetic Voices: How One Person Can Make a Difference - The Legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel," will be a discussion with Clayborne Carson, official editor of the Martin Luther King Jr. papers, during a closed lunch at noon Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Piper Great Hall of George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Her second presentation during a closed lunch will be "My Father's Legacy," at noon Friday, Nov. 2, in the Center for Jewish Studies.

"It is the most Jewish-oriented conference in the history of Baylor. It is a celebration of a major philosopher and theologian scholar who is a European Jew who lived the second half of his life in the U.S.," said Dr. Marc Ellis, director of the Center for Jewish Studies and University Professor of Jewish Studies.

Heschel was born in Poland and fled Europe during the Nazi years to come to America. He taught at Hebrew Union Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Heschel was a Civil Rights activist and strong influence in the ecumenical interfaith movement.

One of the most influential philosophers in the 20th century, Rabbi Heschel had a tremendous influence on Judaism and also Jewish-Christian relations. The Center for Jewish Studies is honored to have his only child, who also has a strong influence in Judaism, attend the conference, Ellis said.

There will be sessions open to the public and those interested in attending closed presentations can contact the Center for Jewish Studies for more information.

For more information on the conference, contact Ellis at (254) 710-3639 or Center for Jewish Studies.

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