February 2, 2023 – 5:45 – 6:45 PM
Hatred of Jews and hatred of Muslims have been intertwined in Christian thought since the rise of Islam. In his new book, Jewish Muslims, Rabbi Dr. David Freidenreich explores the history of this complex, perplexing, and emotionally fraught phenomenon. Analyzing anti-Muslim sentiment in texts and images produced across Europe and the Middle East over a thousand years, Freidenreich shows how Christians intentionally distorted reality by alleging that Muslims were just like Jews. They did so not only to justify assaults against Muslims on theological grounds but also to motivate fellow believers to live as “good” Christians. The disdain premodern polemicists expressed for Islam and Judaism was never really about these religions. Rather, they sought to promote their own visions of Christianity—a dynamic that similarly animates portrayals of Muslims and Jews today. Then and now, hate-mongers target “them” in an effort to define “us.”
Join us to learn more in this important conversation with David Freidenreich and David Sandmel, Chair of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations.
Rabbi Dr. David Freidenreich is the Pulver Family Professor of Jewish Studies at Colby College, where he serves on the chair of the Jewish Studies Department. He is also a member of the Religions Studies Department and is Associate Director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life.
Rabbi Dr. David Sandmel is Chair of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, the consortium of Jewish organizations that is the official Jewish dialogue partner of the Vatican, the World Council of CHurches, and the Ecumentical Patriarch of the Orthodox churches. He has been with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) since 2014 and currently serves as the ADL’s Senior Advisor of Interreligious Affairs.