UCSIA/IJS-Leerstoel 2017-2018: Jews and Jesuits: Contacts Across the Ages

10th Anniversary Conference

1-2 februari 2018
Universiteit Antwerpen, Hof van Liere, Prentenkabinet
Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen

This conference, organized by the Institute of Jewish Studies of the University of Antwerp and the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp, is being held to mark the tenth anniversary of the Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations. The conference will focus on the interactions and mutual influences between the Society of Jesus and Jewish communities throughout history, including today.

The Chair for Jewish-Christian Relations was born of a concern that we owe it to each other to study each other’s traditions, especially so as to understand the contributions of Jewish-Christian exchanges to contemporary European culture. The chair aims to explore common themes in order to reinterpret events from a current perspective and understand them through a historical lens.

The Catholic Reformation, triggered to a large extent by the Jesuits, had significant impact on Jews and Judaism, especially in early modern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula. The Jesuit university, particularly its commitment to humanistic learning, natural philosophy and science, served as a model for some Jews; so too did the spiritual discipline the Jesuits sought to impose on the laity. Jesuits also left their mark on the conversos and their search for religious meaning between Judaism and Christianity. Another realm of contact was the publication of books, specifically Christian Hebraica, and the role of censorship in early modern Europe.

What is the place of Judaism and Jews within Jesuit theology, and how did Jesuit thinking impact Jewish thought and society? How did the early Jesuits conceive of the Bible and post-biblical literature in their understanding of Christianity? Jesuits were deeply involved in the Christian mission to the non-Christian world. To what extent were Jews a focus (or, perhaps, a non-focus) of their missionizing, and why? Other questions concern Jesuits and the fight against anti-Semitism, their role in protecting Jews during the Holocaust, and their role in shaping Catholic attitudes towards Jews and others.

The conference invites scholars to reflect on this diverse and complex relationship in novel ways.

UCSIA/IJS Conference brochure


Postadres: IJS
Universiteit Antwerpen
Prinsstraat 13, L.400
2000 Antwerpen