Religious Events


“War and Peace: how does God call me to serve?”
Conversation between Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Dr. Adil Ozdemir and Rev. Tom Duke.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
11:00 a.m.
University of Minnesota, Coffman Union, Great Hall
Moderator: Frank Kroncke, theologian


Amy Eilberg is the first woman rabbi ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, one of the academic and spiritual centers of Conservative Judaism. Ordained in 1985, she was the first woman appointed to serve on the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards in 1986. She speaks to congregations in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and around the country about issues of Jewish spirituality, healing, compassionate listening, and peace-making, as well as Jewish feminism. Rabbi Eilberg is nationally known as a leader of the Jewish healing movement, which offers the riches of Jewish tradition and the resources of Jewish community to those living with the challenges of illness, grief, and providing care for others. She offers Jewish spiritual direction, helping seekers see the ways God moves through their lives. While spiritual direction, also called “spiritual guidance,” is an ancient practice in Christianity, it did not receive attention in the Jewish community until the 1990s. Seeking an authentic Jewish language for spiritual direction, she searches Kabbalistic, Chassidic, and Musar (contemplative) texts. Implicit in every session, she notes, is the question, “Where is God in this?”

Adil Ozdemir has been sharing in Muslim-Christian dialogue in Turkey since 1982. He is an insightful, first-hand observer of Islam in modern Turkey. Prof. Ozdemir has been interpreting Islam to interested audiences and hundreds of visitors to Turkey over the past several years. Prof. Ozdemir served in Turkey's Department of Religious Affairs as a local religious functionary for four years before his academic career. In 1979-80 he won a scholarship to study at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. In 1986-87, Adil was a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions. Then in 1994-95, as an interpreter of Islam, he was invited to tour several seminaries of the United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ in the USA. He is currently lecturing at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Adil and his wife, Fatma, have four daughters.


Rev. Tom Duke, Ph.D. for the St. Paul Area Council of Churches convenes the interfaith dialogue and networking groups. He brings together people from different traditions, including Jewish, Muslim, Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, and American Indian leaders, to build relationships and sponsor education/dialogue events for congregations and the public. This -St. Paul Interfaith Network - conducted a six-session series on "Peace and Violence in Our Religious Traditions," which attracted an average of about 175 participants per session. Monthly sessions for clergy and leaders provide opportunity for participants to get to know each other in depth and to share in determining what programs are needed in the community.

Frank Kroncke is one of the "Minnesota 8," who argued a "Defense of Necessity" based upon an appeal to a Higher Allegiance sourced in the Roman Catholic moral tradition. He had the "Documents of Vatican Council II" received as trial evidence. Kroncke. holds a Masters in Theology from the University of San Francisco, and completed fours years of doctoral studies in a joint doctoral program of the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley, in Historical Studies. Her served fourteen months of a five year sentence at Sandstone Federal Prison, Minnesota.




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