Not only is the Brueggeman center dedicated to creating the space and opportunity for dialogue. It is a goal of the center to serve as an incubator for programs emerging out of dialogue with partners and potential partners. Virtually all of the center's programs are free and open to the public. If you or your organization has an idea for a program that you think fits with the center's mission, please contact the center. The center's programs and activities include
- The Brueggeman Symposium
- The Town Hall Meeting
- The Brueggeman Chair in Theology and Annual Lecture Series
- Diverse TraditionsCommon Ideals
- Artistic Expressions of Faith
- Special Focus Programs
- Healing Deadly Memories
- Zen Workshop and Retreat
- Dinner and dialogue
- The Great Cities Symposium
- The E/RSBrueggeman film series
- The Auschwitz dialogue project
Each year the Brueggeman center for dialogue convenes a symposium that engages the various religious traditions and a range of academic disciplines on an issue of critical importance. Previous years focused on issues such as the inaugural Millennium Peace Celebration (September 2000), Religion and Ecology (September 2001), Religion and Human Rights (September 2002), and The Changing Role of Women in World Religions (October 2003), Global Religious Fundamentalism, 2004.
Each spring the Brueggeman center for dialogue partners with the World Affairs Council, the AFL-CIO, the Southern Ohio District Export Council, Xavier's ethics/religion and society program, the center for business ethics and social responsibility, and Xavier's community building collaborative for expert-led dialogue on the vital issues and impacts of globalization. These meetings provide a public forum for interactive discussion that allows for diverse perspectives in the hope that we might identify areas of agreement and opportunities for new collaborative solutions. Past town hall meetings focused on Globalization and Ecology, Cincinnati on the Brink: Race, Regionalism and Prospering in a Global Economy, and The Impacts of Globalization on Women in the US and Globally, and featured participants such as Ralph Nader, John Pepper, David Rusk and Mary Robinson.
The center sponsors an annual visiting professorship in religious studies and brings notable theologians of varied religious traditions to Xavier University for one semester. Past holders of The Brueggeman Chair are Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., (2001), Muslim scholar Farid Esack (2002) and Jewish scholar Yaffa Eliach (2003).
The center partnered with the International Visitors Council, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, the National Conference for Community and Justice and the Hillel Jewish Student Center on a series of events aimed to explore the intercultural and interfaith impacts of 9/11 on various populations in Cincinnati. The focus was on general religious communities, high school students and college students. These events were partially sponsored by a grant from the Department of Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
The center partners with the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, Hebrew Union College and the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati to present an annual series of lectures and discussions that explore the ways various cultures and religious traditions express their religious experiences. The 2004 series is titled Images of Women in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and includes Women of Valor: Images of Jewish Heroines featuring Eva Frojmovic, which was held Feb. 2 at Hebrew Union College; The Virgin Mary in Medieval Art, featuring Peter Barnett, March 4 at the Cincinnati Art Museum; and Images of Women in Traditional and Contemporary Islamic Art, featuring Haladay Salaam, March 11 at the Islamic Center.
Throughout the year the center will host talks, workshops, and dialogues on relevant issues to the community. Examples of this in 2004 are the Civic Engagement Institute; debate on the National Security Strategy; and a discussion of the critical issues raised by the new Mel Gibson film The Passion of Christ. These programs are designed to be responsive to the issues that are current and deserving of critical reflection. For more information contact the center.
In 1988 the department of theology began a unique project designed to improve understanding between the Jewish and Christian communities. The basis of this was the need for a reinterpretation of New Testament passages with Anti-Jewish bias. As one of those involved in the project put it, The burden of Good Friday cannot be laid on the shoulders of the Jews. In Cardinal Bernardin's words, It is no secret that many of our past (theological) formulations have seriously distorted the role of the Jewish people in salvation. These distortions undoubtedly played a role in the persecutions borne by Jewish communities in so many parts of the world. Through workshops and graduate classes taught by the Xavier faculty the focus of the project has been to work with synagogues, churches and in particular K-12 educators to sensitize them to these types of anti-Jewish attitudes that go both unrecognized and unaddressed. Initial funding came from the American Jewish Committee but currently the program is unfunded. The Cohen gift would be used:
- To produce a body of materials that might be distributed to educators throughout the region, and eventually the United States, which will help in reinterpreting and engaging in discussion about these texts.
- To create a small scholarship fund that would encourage educators to enroll in the summer courses taught by the department of theology on this subject.
- To fund the continuation of the workshops throughout the region
The center will host small dinners which include representatives from its various constituencies which will bring people together who share concerns about a topic but who rarely, if ever, have an opportunity to engage in conversation with each other about their different perspectives on the issue. The hope is that by doing this outside of the public eye, common concerns might lead to new collaborations.
This is a joint project between Xavier, the University of Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky University to explore the role that the regions universities might play in stimulating regionalism and long-term regional prosperity.
Each spring semester the center will show three or four films on some theme. The films are followed by a discussion of the issues led by Jodi Wyatt from Xavier's department of English, film critic Aris Christofides, and James Buchanan, director for the Brueggeman center.
In November 2002 a group of students and faculty from Xavier traveled to Oswiecim, Poland (Auschwitz) to attend the Seminar at the Edge of Auschwitz. The four-day seminar is hosted by the Center for Dialogue and Prayer, which is located in Oswiecim. It is conducted biennially and includes visits to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps; meeting with former prisoners of the camps, and dialogue among Christians and Jews from Poland, German and the U.S. concerning the Holocaust/Shoah, Jewish-Christian relations since World War II, and theology in the wake of the Holocaust/Shoah. The money from Xavier's Cohen bequest would be used to partner with the seminar and to partially fund a delegation of students and faculty to attend the seminar biennially. In the alternate years the bequest would be used to partially fund a delegation of students and faculty in the summer to attend the Jewish Cultural Festival in Cracow and then to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps for dialogue between Christians and Jews about the Holocaust/Shoah and meetings with the former prisoners.