Symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Nostra AetateDeclaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions

Featuring lectures by

  • Mary C. Boys, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Affairs / Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology, Union Theological Seminary
  • Catherine Cornille, Ph.D., Professor of Comparative Theology / Newton College Alumnae Chair of Western Culture, Boston College
  • Peter Feldmeier, Ph.D., Thomas and Margaret Murray & James J. Bacik Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies, University of Toledo
  • Sandra Keating, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Providence College
  • Ruth Langer, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Studies / Associate Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Boston College
  • Bradley Malkovsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Comparative Theology, University of Notre Dame
  • Anantanand Rambachan, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Philosophy, and Asian Studies, St. Olaf College
  • Mark Unno, Ph.D., Associate Professor of East Asian Religions, University of Oregon
  • Homayra Ziad, Ph.D., Muslim Scholar, Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies

Monday and Tuesday, October 12 and 13, 2015
Woulfe Alumni Hall, Anderson Student Center 378A and 378B
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

Vatican Council II (1962-1965) was, in the counting of the Roman Catholic Church, the twenty-first ecumenical (universal) council of the Church.  Pope John XXIII convened the council for the purpose of aggiornamento, “updating,” and it was in this spirit that the council issued sixteen documents initiating church reform in a variety of areas, including interfaith relations.  Some of the most significant reforms to come from the council were generated by its shortest document, Nostra Aetate (from its opening Latin words meaning “in our time”), issued on October 28, 1965, and known also as the Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.  By acknowledging truth and holiness in other religions and encouraging Christians to engage in dialogue and collaboration with followers of these religions, Nostra Aetate signaled a dramatic change in Roman Catholic teaching about other religions and about Christianity’s relationship to them.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Nostra Aetate, the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning is hosting this symposium.  As four religions other than Christianity — Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism — are mentioned (in that order) inNostra Aetate, the symposium will have four sessions devoted respectively to encounters between Christians and members of those four traditions.  Each of these sessions will feature two lectures — one by a Catholic scholar and one by a scholar from another religion — followed by a discussion.  In addition to the lectures in these four sessions, there will be a keynote address on the overall theme of the symposium at the Monday night banquet.

Among the issues to be explored at the symposium will be

  • the extent to which Nostra Aetate has affected Christian views of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism and the ways Christians relate to members of these religions;
  • whether or not new Christian approaches to interfaith relations inspired by Nostra Aetate have affected Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Jewish views of Christianity and relations with Christians;
  • how the lives of Christians have been spiritually enriched though interfaith learning and collaboration with Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews — and vice versa; and
  • how interfaith relations between Christians and the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism may be enhanced. 

All symposium sessions and meals will take place in the Woulfe Alumni Hall (Rooms 378A and 378B) on the third floor of the Anderson Student Center.

symposium presented by
Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning

with generous support from
The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota
College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas
College of Arts and Sciences at the College of Saint Benedict | Saint John's University
Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas

in collaboration with
Department of Theology at the University of St. Thomas
Department of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict | Saint John's University


Related Event
Nostra Aetate Jewish-Catholic 50th Anniversary Banquet
Dec. 2, 2015

sponsored by 
Commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas
Minnesota Rabbinical Association