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Dabru Emet 20 Years Later

“What we’ve seen in the past two decades, especially with…this sort of democratization of these conversations that were happening in the ivory tower or in elite spaces, is that now there’s a mainstreaming of dialogue that is entering the public sphere.” —Malka Z. Simkovich

On June 16, ICJS hosted a roundtable discussion culminating in the 20th anniversary commemoration of Dabru Emet (“Speak Truth”). The roundtable was comprised of contributors to an online forum through the journal American Religion that welcomed scholars and thinkers from around the world and across disciplines to revisit Dabru Emet, engaging in critique as well as commemoration; historical reflection as well as reframing; rigorous inquiry as well as creative imaginings.

The discussion between Halla Attallah (Georgetown University), Mary C. Boys (Union Theological Seminary), Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College), Laura Levitt (Temple University), and Malka Z. Simkovich (Catholic Theological Union) covered a wide range of topics, from issues of race, gender, power, and authority to the future of interreligious relations. The roundtable participants answered audience questions about the significance of statements such as Dabru Emet and provided a contextual comparison between when the statement was drafted and the broader possibilities—both academically and socially—available today.

“I think Dabru Emet can address many nuances of race and power, and the role that it plays within Christian-Jewish dialogue and beyond,” said Attallah. “But I think the question really is how. How can we think through the document to think through some of the contemporary issues that we’re seeing?”

If you haven’t already, be sure to read the 20th anniversary essays, and watch the recording if you missed the discussion.