The Seelisberg Conference (International Conference of Christians and Jews) was an international conference that took place in the small town of Seelisberg in Switzerland from 30 July to 5 August 1947 in order to study the causes of Christian antisemitism.
Among the 70 participants from 17 countries were:
- 28 Jews, including Jules Isaac, Jacob Kaplan, acting chief rabbi of France, Alexandre Safran, chief rabbi of Romania, the writer Josué Jéhouda, of Geneva; Professor Selig Brodetsky, president of the Representative Council of the Jews of England.
- 23 Protestants,
- 9 Catholics, including Père Marie-Benoît, Father Calliste Lopinot, Abbot Charles Journet, Father Jean de Menasce, Father Paul Démann.
At the time of this conference, the Christians undertook a re-examination of Christian teaching with regards to the Jews and Judaism. They measured the extent of Christian responsibility in the Nazi genocide and understood that Christian teaching had to be urgently corrected. They prepared ten points, largely inspired by the eighteen proposals of the historian Jules Isaac to eradicate prejudices against the Jews.
The 10 Points of Seelisberg
- Remember that One God speaks to us all through the Old and the New Testaments (see divine simplicity and monotheism).
- Remember that Jesus was born of a Jewish mother of the seed of David and the people of Israel, and that His everlasting love and forgiveness embraces His own people and the whole world. (see Dual-covenant theology and Judaism’s view of Jesus)
- Remember that the first disciples, the apostles and the first martyrs were Jews. (see Apostle (Christian))
- Remember that the fundamental commandment of Christianity, to love God and one’s neighbour, proclaimed already in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, is binding upon both Christians and Jews in all human relationship, without any exception (see Ethic of reciprocity).
- Avoid distorting or misrepresenting biblical or post-biblical Judaism with the object of extolling Christianity. (see legalism and pharisees)
- Avoid using the words Jews in the exclusive sense of the enemies of Jesus, and the words The Enemies of Jesus to designate the whole Jewish people. (see Jew (disambiguation))
- Avoid presenting the Passion in such a way as to bring the odium of the killing of Jesus upon all Jews or upon Jews alone. It was only a section of the Jews in Jerusalem who demanded the death of Jesus, and the Christian message has always been that it was the sins of mankind which were exemplified by those Jews and the sins in which all men share that brought Christ to the Cross. (see Passion play and deicide)
- Avoid referring to the scriptural curses, or the cry of a raging mob: His Blood be Upon Us and Our Children, without remembering that this cry should not count against the infinitely more weighty words of our Lord: Father Forgive Them, for They Know no What They Do. (see blood curse)
- Avoid promoting the superstitious notion that the Jewish people are reprobate, accursed, reserved for a destiny of suffering. (see Wandering Jew)
- Avoid speaking of the Jews as if the first members of the Church had not been Jews. (see Council of Jerusalem)