In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, the Collegeville Institute is partnering with the Theater Department of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University in staging a production of the historic play about religious toleration, Nathan the Wise, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, which speaks to our day with no less impact than it did when it was first published in 1779. (The Roman Catholic Church of the time considered the play—which views Islam, Judaism, and Christianity without discrimination—to be a scandal to the faith and forbade its performance.)
The play is directed by Kaarin Johnston and held in the Colman Theater in the Benedicta Arts Center on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict. There are seven performances, October 19 – 24, 2017.
Learn more about the play »
View event details on the CSBSJU Theater website »
Performance Dates & Times
Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 21 at 2:00 & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 22* at 2:00 p.m.
Monday, October 23 – Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m.
$10, CSB/SJU Students $5,
Students $7, Faculty/Staff $7, Seniors $7
Following the Sunday, October 22 performance of Nathan the Wise, a panel of speakers will lead a conversation about the issues the play raises.
Rabbi Barry D. Cytron is currently director of the Multi-Religious Fellows Program, a civic engagement and leadership development initiative of the Collegeville Institute. He served for 25 years as a congregational rabbi, first in Des Moines, Iowa and then in Minneapolis. From 1996-2008, he was the director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a partnership of Saint John’s University and the University of St. Thomas devoted to fostering sustained interreligious education. From 2008-2017, he served as one of Macalester College’s chaplains, where he taught as an adjunct professor for almost three decades.
Darrell Jodock chairs the Board of the Collegeville Institute. He is a Professor Emeritus at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he was the Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Professor of Religion. After retiring from Gustavus, he held the Martin E. Marty Regents Chair in Religion and the Academy at St. Olaf College. Earlier he taught at Luther Seminary, and Muhlenberg College (PA) where he founded the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding. He currently serves on two task forces and two committees of the ELCA and represents the ELCA at the national dialogue of Jews and Christians and at the “convening table” on inter-religious relations of the National Council of Churches.
Kaarin S. Johnston is a Professor of Theater at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University responsible for teaching History, Literature, Playwriting and other courses for the department. She also directs two production per year on campus, including this fall 2017 production of Nathan the Wise. Due to her interest in theology she has been taking courses at the Saint John’s School of Theology off and on for many years.
Noreen Herzfeld is the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Science and Religion at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. She teaches in the Computer Science Department, as well as the Theology Department, where she teaches a course on the Spiritual Traditions of Islam.