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The Future of Interreligious Dialogue: A Multireligious Conversation on Nostra Aetate

February 13 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

“The Second Vatican Council (1962-65), popularly known as Vatican II, was arguably one of the most transformative religious events of the twentieth century.” So writes UW historian, Charles L. Cohen, in a new edited volume that explores the council’s still unfolding global legacy and implications. The book offers a fresh examination of Vatican II’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions from a variety of religious traditions and perspectives. In a world of profound religious and cultural difference it engages in the interreligious challenge to create not just “a truce among [religions], but an alliance to promote human well-being and spiritual growth.”

On February 13, we’re thrilled to invite Professor Cohen, along with his co-editors Paul F. Knitter and Ulrich Rosenhagen, as well as UW-Madison senior Kyra Fox, to join us for a discussion about the book, and the landscape of contemporary interfaith dialogue in light of a remarkable moment in recent religious history.

This event is hosted in partnership with UW-Madison’s Center for Religion and Global Citizenry.


Charles L. Cohen is the E. Gordon Fox Emeritus Professor of American Institutions, and former Director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions. He ran UW–Madison’s Religious Studies Program. He is a specialist in colonial British North America and early American religious history, he received the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society for American Historians for his work on the psychology of Puritan religious experience and since 2008 has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. He has won the Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award and a Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award from UW–Madison. He is co-editor of and a contributor to both Theology and the Soul of the Liberal State (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2010; with Leonard V. Kaplan), and Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008; with Paul S. Boyer). He has also edited Gods in America: Religious Pluralism in the United States, with Ronald L. Numbers (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013). He serves on the Religious Practices Advisory Committee, Department of Corrections, State of Wisconsin.

Paul F. Knitter is the Emeritus Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He is also Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received a Licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1966) and a doctorate from the University of Marburg, Germany (1972). Most of his research and publications have dealt with religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue. Since his ground-breaking 1985 book, No Other Name?: A Critical Survey of Christian Attitudes Toward the World Religions, he has been exploring how the religious communities of the world can cooperate in promoting human and ecological well-being. Among other published accomplishments and leadership positions, he is on the Board of Trustees for the Interreligious and International Peace Council, formed after the 1993 World Parliament of Religions, to promote interreligious peace-making projects.

Ulrich Rosenhagen is Director of the UW-Madison Center for Religion and Global Citizenry and a Lecturer in Religious Studies. He is an ordained pastor, originally in the Evangelische Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck and now in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 2012. A revised version of his dissertation on religious communication during the American Revolution was published in 2015 in German. He was a researcher at the Technical University of Dresden, has held a research fellowship at Boston University, and has published papers on Jewish-Christian Relations, 19th- and 20th- Century Social Protestantism, as well as Religion and Immigration. His next book project is an intellectual biography of the liberal theologian Rudolf Otto.

Kyra Fox is a senior at the UW-Madison, studying International Studies and Psychology with a certificate in African Studies. She was raised in an interfaith family, so dialogue across cultural difference has been a central part of her personal development. In her work at the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry, she hopes to amplify interfaith unity at UW, working to dismantle intolerance, division, and injustice.




February 13
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States


Daniel Johnson
(608) 237-2929 ext 103

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