Dangerous Religious Ideas

The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

A conversation with Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva, Ph.D.
moderated by John C. Merkle, Ph.D.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM  

The recently published book Dangerous Religious ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Beacon, 2020) by Rabbi Rachel Mikva will be the subject of this webinar. “People value their faith for its capacity to inspire goodness, fashion meaning, connect communities, and open gateways to the sacred,” writes Rabbi Mikva in this book. “At the same time, they have long recognized and struggled with the ways in which religion is wielded as a weapon to oppress people, to deepen division and justify violence.” In this webinar, Rabbi Mikva will be interviewed about this and other claims made in Dangerous Religious Ideas, such as the central assertion that “the self-critical capacities of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — embedded from the outset — are essential as we grapple with the power of religious ideas and the role of religion in society.” 

Photo of Rabbi MikvaRabbi Rachel S. Mikva, Ph.D., serves as the Herman E. Schaalman Chair in Jewish Studies and Senior Faculty Fellow of the InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary. The Institute and the Seminary work at the cutting edge of theological education, training religious leaders who can build bridges across cultural and religious difference for the critical work of social transformation. With a passion for justice and academic expertise in the history of scriptural interpretation, Rabbi Mikva's courses and publications address a range of Jewish and comparative studies, with a special interest in the intersections of sacred texts, culture, and ethics. Her current writing project is a textbook for undergraduate and graduate students, to be published by Cambridge University Press: Interreligious Studies: An Introduction. Learn more about Rabbi Mikva’s work at www.rachelmikva.com.  

John C. Merkle, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University and director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University. Deeply involved in interfaith dialogue for more than four decades, Dr. Merkle served as chair of the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, a national organization of Christian scholars engaged in the study of Judaism and of Christianity in relation to Judaism, and as co-editor of Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, the electronic journal of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations.  Among the books he has authored is Approaching God: The Way of Abraham Joshua Heschel  (Liturgical Press, 2009). 

Sponsored and organized by  
Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John's University 

with generous support from 
Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota