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< Faculty Seminars

Faculty Seminar on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust


This annual seminar, held in the summer, is designed for professors, doctoral students, scholars, and clergy interested in historical topics related to issues of ethics, religious leadership, and the role of different religious communities during the Holocaust and the implications of this history after 1945.

Past Seminars

See a list of topics covered in previous faculty seminars on ethics, religion, and the Holocaust.

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Focusing on a particular theme or historical aspect, each seminar includes special presentations by experts in the field; a review of curricular resources, new research, and publications; and an introduction to the Museum’s resources for scholars.

The seminar topic and dates are announced in the winter. Faculty and qualified doctoral students from all academic disciplines are invited to apply, as are clergy and non-clergy professionally engaged in interreligious work. The Mandel Center covers the cost of direct travel to and from participants’ home institutions and Washington, DC  (up to but not exceeding $600), as well as lodging for the duration of the seminar., as well as lodging for the duration of the seminar.

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2020 Seminar


June 15–19, 2020

This seminar will consider the complex roles of religion (specifically Judaism and Christianity) in the Holocaust by addressing five key themes: everyday religious life under persecution; religion and violence; rescue, conversion, and coercion; religious/ethnic/national identities; and religious freedom in authoritarian societies. We will examine each topic through primary sources and secondary literature related to the Holocaust as well as consider how similar issues play out in other cases of genocide or mass atrocity in order to explore how Genocide Studies might deepen our understanding of religion and the Holocaust. The seminar will emphasize practical approaches to integrating these topics in university and seminary courses, including syllabus development and discussing sensitive material in the classroom.

The seminar will be co-led by Drs. Doris Bergen and Rebecca Carter-Chand. Doris Bergen is Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author or editor of five books, including War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (3rd edition 2016); Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (1996); and The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Century (2004). Rebecca Carter-Chand is the Acting Director of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the USHMM. She is currently working on a book manuscript, “The Limits of Christian Internationalism and the Salvation Army in Germany” and is co-editing a volume with Kevin Spicer, “Christianity, Antisemitism, and Ethnonationalism in the Era of the Two World Wars.”

This seminar is made possible by the Hoffberger Family Fund and by Joseph A. and Janeal Cannon and Family.