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Faculty Seminar: Faiths and Ferocity

Research and Teaching Exchanges between Genocide Studies and Interreligious Studies

July 11-14, 2022

The ICJS inaugural Faculty Seminar will bring together scholars working in universities and seminaries who research and/or teach in Interreligious Studies or Genocide Studies. Seminar participants will examine encounters between these two areas of study and consider how methodological approaches in both fields can challenge and enrich one another in our teaching and scholarship.

As Interreligious Studies programs emerge in seminaries and in U.S. institutions of higher learning, there has been a concerted effort by scholars in a variety of disciplines to define this new field.​​ These programs are not limited to Religious Studies departments, nor are they limited to the areas of theology and religion, but include courses in the general humanities, as well as in peace and violence prevention programs. Political scientists, philosophers, sociologists, historians, ethicists, psychologists, anthropologists, and others also have been trying to understand the complicated role of religion in both fomenting violence as well as bringing about reconciliation.  An important area of study, in this regard, is Genocide Studies.

By bringing these two areas of study together in this seminar, scholars in both fields of study will open up new questions in their respective scholarly inquiries, as well as explore pedagogical approaches toward addressing violence and reconciliation in interreligious encounters. The seminar is a venue for thoughtful discussion and an opportunity for networking and sharing resources.


Illustration: “And where can I turn to if it’s my turn,” by Sheila Lefebvre via

Seminar Topics:* 

* Selection of topics is still in formation. The final selection could differ from this list.  

Seminar Goals: 

  1. To deepen research into the intersections of religion and social justice in Genocide Studies and Interreligious Studies.
  2. To share research and pedagogical methods. 
  3. To identify potential directions in Interreligious Studies that are responsive to the complex relationship between religion and violence in various geographical contexts.
  4. To build and sustain an interdisciplinary learning community to collaborate in research, syllabi, and pedagogical practices.
Seminar Format

We will cover a theme or topic each day and explore how both areas of study understand and engage it. Each day, one session will examine that day’s topic from the perspective of Interreligious Studies and a second session will cover the same topic through a lens of Genocide Studies. A third session each day will look at how these two fields of study can be in conversation around the topic and how that can impact our teaching and research. We plan to include the input of guest speakers each day with expertise in each of the disciplines. The sessions are designed to be highly interactive, with the ultimate goal of arriving at some sort of shared commitment in terms of what we are researching, while respecting differences in method.



Program Details 

When: Monday, July 11, 2022, 9:00 AM to Thursday, July 14, 2022, 2:00 PM 

Location: ICJS Library, 956 Dulaney Valley Rd., Baltimore MD 21204

ICJS will provide to each participant: 

  • Hotel accommodation (Sunday, 7/10 through Wednesday, 7/13) 
  • Travel reimbursement (up to $600)
  • Dinner, Sunday, 7/11 
  • Breakfast and lunch, Monday through Thursday
  • Materials, as needed 

Every precaution will be taken to ensure the health and safety of participants. This includes accepted participants providing proof of full vaccination and a booster. 


Benjamin E. Sax, Ph.D.

ICJS Jewish Scholar  

Dr. Sax is an experienced professor, university administrator, scholar, award-winning teacher, public speaker, and practitioner and facilitator of interreligious dialogue. He was director of the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in Judaic Studies and the founding faculty principal at the West Ambler Johnston Residential College at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Dr. Sax holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., Social Thought and Political Economy), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (M.A., Jewish Thought), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., History of Judaism). Dr. Sax has published on topics relating to Jewish philosophy, German-Jewish history and culture, Jewish-Christian relations, and interreligious dialogue. He co-chairs the Religion, Holocaust, and Genocide Unit at American Academy of Religion (AAR). 

Kate E. Temoney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Montclair State University 

Dr. Temoney is the co-chair of the Religion, Holocaust, and Genocide Unit of the American Academy of Religion, as well as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Committee on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust. She holds degrees from Wake Forest University (B.A., Psychology ), The College of William & Mary (M.Ed., Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership), and Florida State University (M.A., Ph.D., Religion). Trained as a comparative religious ethicist, she teaches courses on Religious Ethics, the Holocaust, African Religions, Jewish Applied Ethics, Religions of the World, and Religion & Human Rights. Dr. Temoney’s international publications and presentations—in such places as Brazil, Cambodia, Poland, Belgium, Morocco, Canada, and Australia—address the intersections of religion, human rights, and mass atrocities. 


Application Process: 

Applications for 2022 Faculty Seminar are now closed. For information on future Faculty Seminars, contact Ben Sax at