As the event of the Holocaust recedes further into human history, popular and academic understandings of its implications have grown broader. Today, the history of the Holocaust is often taught comparatively in courses on human rights, ethics, and contemporary genocide. And as we become increasingly aware of the multireligious nature of our world, interfaith conversations focus on the commonalities and tensions between and among people of various religions, not just Judaism and Christianity. How can recent scholarship about the Holocaust inform these newer conversations, and how in turn have these developments shaped the field of Holocaust studies? How can the Holocaust be understood in its historical particularities as well as in terms of more universal questions? Victoria Barnett will discuss these developments and how they are being addressed in the field of Holocaust studies and in interreligious circles.
Victoria Barnett, Ph.D., is Director of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She earned a doctorate in religion and conflict at George Mason University, where she studied at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is the author of For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest against Hitler (Oxford University Press, 1992) and Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity during the Holocaust (Greenwood Press, 1999), and editor/translator of Wolfgang Gerlach’s And the Witnesses were Silent: the Confessing Church and the Jews (University of Nebraska Press, 2000) and the new revised edition of Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Fortress Press, 2000). She also served as one of the general editors of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, the English translation series of Bonhoeffer’s complete works published by Fortress Press. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on the role of religious leaders and institutions during the Holocaust, and is currently working on a book about the role of international interfaith and ecumenical leaders during that period.
Sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and co-sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with the generous support of the Hoffberger Family Foundation.