DI Hosts Event on 50-Year Legacy of Leonard Swidler and Temple University Department of Religion

                                        Click above to see additional pictures!

                                        Click above to see additional pictures!

The Dialogue Institute hosted a celebratory event, "Scaling the Wall Between Separation of Church and State: Reflections on the 50-Year History of the Temple University Department of Religion,” on January 27, 2017, at Temple's main campus in Philadelphia. The event highlighted both the ground-breaking history of Temple’s Department of Religion and the related legacy of interfaith pioneer and Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue, Leonard Swidler, who is celebrating his 50th anniversary as at Temple.

Leonard Swidler

Leonard Swidler

The program began with a presentation by Brian Ortale, former Temple graduate student and current adjunct faculty member at Chestnut Hill College and Gwynedd Mercy University, based on his pending dissertation, “Scaling the Wall of Separation Between Church and State: A Narrative History of the Development of the First Departments of Religion at State Universities in America.” Responses and additional remarks were offered by Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell (Professor Emerita, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University), Dr. Rodger Van Allen (Professor Swidler's first graduate student at Temple and recently retired professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University), Dr. Elizabeth Adams-Eilers (former adjunct professor at Temple and Georgia State Universities, and current adjunct assistant professor at Drexel University) and Nancy Krody (Managing Editor, Journal of Ecumenical Studies).

Following the program, the approximately 40 guests in attendance had an opportunity to visit with Professor Swidler and view “Bridging Dialogue and Renewal: Professor Leonard Swidler's 50 Years at Temple"—a special exhibit curated by the Dialogue Institute on his unique role in and profound impact on the global ecumenical and interfaith movements, including his legacy as co-founding editor of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (1964) and founder and president of the DI (1978).

Click here to see additional pictures from the event.