Our Better Angels: Resources for the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of 9/11

JTS Website Features Material from Landmark Events

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089
Email: evglasberg@jtsa.edu

July 26, 2011, New York, NY

In May and June 2011, The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Union Theological Seminary (UTS) cosponsored three evenings of interreligious discussion and music at St. Paul’s Chapel (adjacent to Ground Zero) in New York City. The series explored, through texts, talks, and live musical performances, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions on tragedy, mourning, and healing in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Featured throughout the three evenings were theologians Reverend Dr. Serene Jones, president of the Faculty and Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology at UTS; Dr. Ingrid Mattson, immediate past-president of the Islamic Society of North America and professor of Islam at Hartford Seminary; and Rabbi Dr. Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies and director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS. The renowned musicians who performed included pianist Simone Dinnerstein, the Chiara String Quartet, harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, and cellist Fred Zlotkin. The heralded events garnered much attention, including a review in the New York Times.

JTS has now made the invaluable wisdom imparted during the three Our Better Angels sessions available on its website. A singular resource for congregations, communities, and individuals seeking meaningful ways to commemorate and cope with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, www.jtsa.edu/OurBetterAngels presents texts and traditions from each of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). All three engage one another in a conversation on the meaning of the tragedy and how we may move through mourning toward recovery.

“The Our Better Angels experience makes clear that the only way forward for us as a nation is with Jews, Christians, and Muslims walking together. And when the conversation among theologians confronts the limitations of interreligious dialogue, music expresses the ineffable and brings us on the path to joy and healing,” says Our Better Angels codirector, Rabbi Dr. Visotzky.

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