The 2nd international conference of the International Association of Spiritual Care was hosted by the Rossing Center for Education and Dialogue together with its partners in the Healing Hatred program, Hebrew Union College and the Holy Land Trust. The conference attracted over 200 participants, including 45 international participants from 15 countries, for 3 exciting days of lectures, panels and workshops on the theme of “Healing Hatred: Spiritual Challenges in a Context of Political Conflict”. The conflict brought together academics and practitioners from diverse places and spheres of interest, to consider the impact of violent conflict on our spiritual and moral well-being – and to see what tools might address such injuries and enable us to overcome the barriers to creating a better future together.
During the opening event, Fr. Michael Lapsley, the founding director of the Institute for Healing of Memories in South Africa, spoke with Dr. Sarah Bernstein, director of the Rossing Center, and Sami Awad, founding director of the Holy Land Trust, about some of the challenges of healing and reconciliation – particularly in the context of ongoing violent conflict and injustice – about the transcendence of pain in human experience, about competitive victimhood, about the need for and pain of acknowledging opposing narratives, and about how we might move forwards in our attempts to shift the dynamics of our conflict. Other sessions considered such topics as the necessity of forgiveness for reconciliation, the abuse of religion in violent conflict, what makes people change, and unlocking Israeli indifference to Palestinian trauma.
Thank you to our partners for all their hard work and to our sponsors, without whose generosity the event could not have taken place: the University of Bern, Aid the Church in Need and the Church of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.
The full videos of the main lectures and panels held in Jerusalem can be found here (as they become available) – the complete program with details of all the speakers can be found here.
Day 1: Sunday July 9th in Jerusalem
Day 2: Monday July 10th in Jerusalem