April 17 seminar will examine 'Luther and the Jews'

April 17 seminar will examine ‘Luther and the Jews’

“Luther and the Jews: From Diatribe to Dialogue” is the title of the 21st annual Christian-Jewish Seminar that will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 17, in the auditorium of Northwestern Hall at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

The seminar will focus on an exhibit, “Jews of the Luthertown Wittenberg in the Third Reich,” which is on display at Luther Seminary until May 31.

Martin Luther’s writings against Jews were used during the Third Reich to discredit and persecute Jews throughout Europe. When the Nazis unleashed their campaign of terror against Jews, the town of Wittenberg, once home to Martin Luther, was used as a backdrop to their ceremonies. In the 1980s, the Saxony-Anhalt State Center for Political Education and the Luther Center in Wittenberg developed the exhibit to help foster a new era in Christian-Jewish relations. The exhibit will be open for viewing at Luther Seminary before and after the seminar.

The seminar will feature a talk by Dr. Darrell Jodock and responses by the Rev. M. Susan Peterson and Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker.

Jodock is the Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. He formerly taught at Muhlenburg College in Pennsylvania, where he founded the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding.

Peterson is the senior pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Spilker is the senior rabbi at Mount Zion Temple, also in St. Paul.

The seminar is co-sponsored by Luther Seminary and the Jay Phillips Center for Jewish-Christian Learning, which is a partnership of the University of St. Thomas and St. John’s University.

The registration fee for the seminar is $35 for the general public and $15 for students. Call (651) 641-3416 to register. Kosher refreshments will be served.