Currently, in the opening weeks of March 2021, the students and administration of the Theologisches Studienjahr Jerusalem, (Jerusalem School of Theology), who are residing at the Collegio and studying under Ateneo Sant’Anselmo’s Faculty of Theology, have been joined by six German-Muslim students of Islamic theology. The Islamic theology students will study and participate in joint lectures regarding Islam and Muslim-Christian relations with both Muslim and Christian lecturers.
The so called “Muslimisch-Christliche Werkwochen”, or “Muslim-Christian Work Weeks”, are a regular component of the Jerusalem School’s program. All of the students are not only studying, but eating and spending free time together, with the idea that dialogues continue or have a chance to continue after the lessons.
On Tuesday, 2 March, Kurt Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave a talk to the Muslim and Christian students concerning the current developments of the dialogues between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Churches and of the dialogues between the Catholic Church and the Churches of the Reformation and Neo-Pentecostal Churches.
As the President of the Pontificial Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Cardinal Koch also gave insights into this very important dialogue.
After his lecture, Cardinal Koch spent a full hour in open discussion with the students. For many years Cardinal Koch has been a long-standing friend and supporter of the Theologisches Studienjahr Jerusalem, as was his predecessor Walter Cardinal Kasper.
Both the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Theologisches Studienjahr Jerusalem consider ecumenism a mission. At the conclusion of his discussion, Cardinal Koch and the students promised to encourage and support one another in their future ecumenical pursuits.