The Rev. Peter Pettit, founding chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, will deliver the 24th annual Msgr. John M. Oesterreicher Memorial Lecture on “Semper Reformanda at 500: Old and New Questions for Christians and Jews,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Caroline D. Schwartz College of Nursing Amphitheatre, at Seton Hall University, South Orange. The program is hosted by the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies.
This year marks 500 years since Martin Luther’s presentation of the 95 Theses on Indulgences, launching the Reformation. One hallmark of the Reformation is its relationship to the Jewish religion and community, including Luther’s anti-Jewish posture, assessed especially in terms of events in Europe and North America of the past 70 years. Rev. Pettit will look at the conviction that the Church is always reforming, Ecclesia semper reformada,what challenges remain and what this century calls the Church to examine in its life and faith in relation to the Jewish people.
An ordained Luther pastor, the Rev. Pettit is associate professor of religion studies and director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa. The founding chair of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations, he has long been involved in Christian-Jewish dialogue and an active leader in national and international organizations. A Shalom Hartman Institute (Jerusalem) Fellow, he co-directs the annual Interreligious Theology Conference and Interfaith Partners for Peace, and has co-directed the educational project, New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel.
The annual memorial lecture at Seton Hall celebrates the strengthening of Catholic-Jewish relations and remembers Msgr. Oesterreicher's commitment to the fostering of interreligious dialogue through his work on the Second Vatican Council's statement of goodwill in Nostra Aetate, the "Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions."
The event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged by contacting Lawrence.Frizzell@shu.edu, or calling 973-761-9751. Seton Hall University is located at 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079.