Program 2022

Morning sessions: 9:00 am -1:00 pm (Jerusalem time), exploring and understanding Jerusalem through the eyes of different religious traditions, imbibing the sanctity of the holy city; afternoon sessions (live-streamed): 4:00 – 7:00 pm, the concept of “return”.
What are religions supposed to do: on what domains of life do they impact and what do they achieve? 
What happens in times of crisis? Do crises enhance the functioning of religion, undermine it or both?
The recent COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to study the function of religion at a moment of global crisis.
We will hear from scholars of religion what they understand about the way that religions operate and we will hear from some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders about how they dealt with challenges during COVID-19, through a unique series of interviews carried out by the Elijah Interfaith Institute, titled “Coronaspection”.

Topics include:

  • the spiritual basis of human and global interconnectivity and the moral and theological foundations for social responsibility
  • the religious mandate to do good and values of charity, justice, responsibility;
  • rethinking charity in a global age, in light of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals;
  • Pope Francis as social theorist: study and responses to his epistles
  • care for society and care for creation
  • global solidarity – the post-national and transnational world and the implications for religions; challenges of migration
  • promise and limitations of a theory of global ethics

Summer school activities include

  • Academic lectures
  • Panels of scholars and religious leaders from 6 different faiths
  • Analysis of Encyclicals of Pope Francis
  • Small group textual study
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Bibliodrama workshop
  • Guided group discussion
Day 1
24 Jul 2022

Optional tour

Peta Jones Pellach
Day 2
25 Jul 2022

Jerusalem in Judaism

Rabbi Ian Pear

The need for “return”

Loss and restoration – grief and consolation. Exile and loss in our key narratives. Presentations from 4 different religious leaders/ scholars  
Day 3
26 Jul 2022

The concept of “return”

Repentance, purification, reunification, forming identity, return of individual to collective; dialogue and reconciliation. Textual studies (1 hour) followed by panel.
Day 4
27 Jul 2022

Returning to sacred places – pilgrimage

What makes a site holy and a magnet for pilgrimage?
Day 5
28 Jul 2022

Return to self

And processes of return as part of interior psychological map, activated in prayer.
Day 6
29 Jul 2022

Returning to historical roots

Different understandings of time/ history and the implications for religious life and for understandings of “return.” Echoes – Does shabbat turn into something universal?
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Day 7
31 Jul 2022


(will extend beyond 13:00)
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 8
01 Aug 2022
Day 9
02 Aug 2022
Day 10
03 Aug 2022
Day 11
04 Aug 2022


(will extend beyond 13:00)
Peta Jones Pellach