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Appointment to the Professorship for Jewish Studies

The University of Lucerne has appointed Dr Christian Rutishauser as Professor of Jewish Studies and Theology at the Faculty of Theology, effective 1 August 2024. Furthermore, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is to create a new professorship for Jewish Studies.

Dr Christian Rutishauser

Dr Christian Rutishauser, born 1965, studied theology at the University of Fribourg. He was ordained as a priest in 1998. In the same year, Rutishauser began his doctoral studies at the University of Lucerne, which he completed in 2002 with a specialisation in Jewish Studies. From 2001 to 2012, Christian Rutishauser was Programme Director at Lassalle-Haus Bad Schönbrunn. Since 2002, he has held various university teaching positions. From 2012 to 2021, Christian Rutishauser simultaneously served as Provincial of the Swiss Jesuits.

Christian Rutishauser has been a member of the Jewish-Roman Catholic Dialogue Commission of the Swiss Bishops' Conference and the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (JRGK) since 2004, and has served as a delegation member of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews at the International Liaison Committee (ILC). In 2012, he became a member of Sub-Commission I of the Ecumenical Commission of the German Bishops' Conference for Religious Relations with Judaism and, for the last 10 years, has served as Permanent Advisor to the Holy See for Religious Relations with Judaism.

New professorship for “Jewish Studies” planned

At the University of Lucerne, the subject "Jewish Studies and Theology" is part of the Catholic Theology curriculum. Ecclesiastical law requires professors teaching this subject to be Roman Catholic. Additionally, plans are underway to establish a professorship for “Jewish Studies” at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. There will be no denominational requirements for this appointment. The professorship will be financed primarily through third-party funds. The vacancy will be advertised in autumn 2024, pending approval by the university committees.

Interfaith dialogue has a high priority

At the University of Lucerne, the dialogue between religions has a long tradition and is highly valued. An important milestone was the establishment of the Institute of Jewish-Christian Research (IJCF) in 1981, which conducts research from both Jewish and Christian perspectives. The Jewish guest professorships, which have existed since the mid-1970s – first at the Faculty of Theology and later as part of the IJCF – have garnered significant attention. The IJCF is part of the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2021, the Centre for Theology and Philosophy of Religions was established at the Faculty of Theology. This centre is dedicated to the diverse connections between Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Since autumn 2022, the Centre has been offering an English-language Master's degree course in Philosophy, Theology and Religions, which is held exclusively online and has been very well received.