Interfaith Panel Wrestles with Troubling Texts

October 19, 2007

Author: Amy Klein

Source: The Jewish Journal

"We learn who we are through struggling with text," said Rabbi Mark S. Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. "We must learn from the scars, from the blemishes, from the ugly parts of our textual tradition, our history and our faith."

Scholars, clergy and seminarians gathered this week at the Luxe Hotel to discuss troubling passages and ideas in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and ways of understanding them in modern times, as part of "Troubling Traditions: Wrestling With Problem Passages," a conference co-sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University.

While many of the presenters and attendees at the Oct. 15-16 conference were from the more liberal strands of their religions -- few mainstream Orthodox or hardcore evangelicals were present -- the hope for the meetings is that it will slowly transform the more extreme pockets, or at least save the moderates from them.