December 12, 2017
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Changing Role of Religion in Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

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Dr. David Friedenreich will present a two-part program discussing “The Changing Role of Religion in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict” in Session One and “Religious Diversity and the Changing Role of Religion is Israeli Life” in Session Two.

Session One will be held 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, and Session Two 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at Congregation Beth El, 183 French St. For information, call 207-945-4578.

According to Dr. Freidenreich, “the conflict over Israel/Palestine was not originally religious in nature. As recently as 50 years ago, the major player on both sides were all secular and justified their competing territorial claims within the framework of nationalism. Today, however, the loudest voices among Israelis and Palestinians alike express their claims in religious terms……What changed? What does this transformation mean for the future of the conflict and the prospects for its resolution?”

There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of information about the Middle East history and events. This discussion should help to clarify some questions and perhaps raise others.

David M. Freidenreich is a member of the Colby College Religious Studies Department, where he teaches a wide range of courses on Judaism, Jewish history, and comparative religion. After receiving a B.A. from Brandeis University, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. His research explores attitudes toward adherents of foreign religions, primarily as these attitudes are expressed in ancient and medieval sources and secondarily as manifest in the history of Maine’s Jewish communities. He is currently studying the ways Christians have used ideas about Jews to think about Muslims.