Join us in Portland for a panel discussion on the evolution of religious rights and their connection with, and impact on, human rights.

How has the promotion of religious rights figured into the larger effort to protect and advance human rights?  On the one hand, we find many historical and contemporary declarations of rights coupling freedom of thought, belief, conscience, and religion.  However, we likewise see examples of religious freedoms for some being yoked to religious (and other) oppression for others. 

Our distinguished panel will explore the historical, philosophical, legal, and experiential dimensions of this complicated question.   

We welcome your contributions to the discussion that will follow.

Leading our panel will be the 2015 recipient of the Elie Wiesel Award, a recognition granted annually by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Professor Thomas Buergenthal.   He will speak to us in a double capacity: first, as a survivor of Auschwitz, whose experiences during the Holocaust are chronicled in his highly acclaimed memoir, A Lucky Child; and second, as a renowned legal scholar who has labored to make international law an ever-more-effective tool in combating human rights abuses.   He has also served as a judge on several international tribunals that deal heavily in human rights cases, including the International Court of Justice (a.k.a. “The World Court”).  (see more about him below)

Other panel participants will be four members of faculty in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at OSU including:

Rena Lauer Rena Lauer (specialties in medieval Europe and Jewish history) will speak on minority religions and their legal rights in the medieval Mediterranean.

Amy Koehlinger Amy Koehlinger (North American religious history and thought; American Catholicism) will address the issue of religion and human rights in the history of Oregon;

Stuart Sarbacker Stuart Sarbacker (comparative religion; Indic religions and philosophical traditions) will focus onreligious freedom in the context of Eastern faith traditions; and

Paul Kopperman Paul Kopperman (war and genocide; chair, Holocaust Memorial Committee) will discuss the value of Holocaust education in promoting respect for diversity.

After their individual statements, the panelists will join audience members in discussing the core theme of the evening, “Religious Rights and Human Rights. At the conclusion of this event, copies of the new, expanded edition of A Lucky Child, Thomas Buergenthal’s Holocaust memoir, will be available for purchase. 

This event is sponsored by the OSU Holocaust Memorial Program, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, the Institute for Judaic StudiesGrass Roots Books and Music, and the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.



Panel Discussion
Mittleman JCC, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland
Event Date: 
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 07:00