Invitation to the Encounter from the Jesuits of the Holy Land

We do not often speak of the Jesuit community at St. Ignatius Residence in Jerusalem. Its members come from various continents and offer research and formation services especially in the field of biblical and religious studies.

The community wishes to share its expertise more widely. It is, therefore, launching a program of “Encounter” for 2021 to promote the knowledge and understanding of Jesuits and their close partners with the three traditions of the Holy Land: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Each of these traditions will be the focus of attention for ten days; one can choose to participate in one, two, or all three sessions. During these days, in addition to studying in depth certain aspects of these traditions, participants will meet with members of the faith communities and the Jesuits of the Jerusalem community will share their experience and knowledge in the particular context of the Holy Land.

We posed a few questions to the superior of the community and animator of the programme, David Neuhaus SJ, of the Near East Province.

David Neuhaus, why did the Jesuit community of Jerusalem choose to propose this program of encounter with the three major monotheistic religions in 2021?

2021 marks 500 years since the conversion of Saint Ignatius and we thought that this is a good occasion to offer sessions in Jerusalem for Jesuits and Jesuit collaborators. What better place is there to study the great traditions that define much of the world today, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, than in the Holy Land. The Holy Land was dear to Saint Ignatius and an important place in his pilgrimage. Interreligious and ecumenical dialogue are important parts of our mission as Jesuits and to engage in this dialogue we must be more familiar with these traditions.

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What arguments could a Jesuit - and even more so a scholastic – use with his Provincial or his formation director to encourage him to send him to take part in this experience?

In many places today we live in a world shared with Christians from other denominations, with Muslims and Jews. It has become essential to know about our neighbors, understanding and respecting their religious traditions and practices. The Holy Land offers a unique backdrop to deepen our understanding of these traditions because they were formed in this area and in a particular way in Jerusalem. The experience of encountering Jews, Muslims and Eastern Christians in the Holy Land goes far beyond what might be gained from reading books. Even more formative is the living encounter with Jews, Muslims and Christians in their own milieu with the backdrop of the city, Jerusalem, and the Land, Israel/Palestine, that has always been so central.

The dates:
- A meeting with modern Judaism: 5- 16 April 2021
- An Encounter with modern Islam: 3-14 May 2021
- An Encounter with Christianity in the Holy Land: from 31 May to 11 June 2021
Maximum of 20 participants per session, accommodated at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
The program will be offered in English; there are plans to offer it in other languages later.

For more details click on this link.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles public relations.

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