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Past Events

Past EventsSunday, March 1

Defining the Divine

Jonathan Wittenberg
Jonathan Magonet
Sara Maitland
Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand

Does the language we use when we address God matter? How have conceptions of the divine developed over time and in what way do these inform everyday life and our interactions with others? Our three panellists offered their own unique insights into the topic.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg’s book, The Silence of Dark Water navigates the human life cycle with faith-driven meditations both universal and highly personal.

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet edited the new Reform prayer book and in the process faced the difficult challenge of the how to translate the name of God.

Novelist, and self-described ‘Anglo-Catholic socialist feminist’, Sara Maitland’s latest publication, The Book of Silence considers two types of silence; that which fosters creativity and that which relates to prayer.

Jonathan Wittenberg is rabbi of the New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK. He interested in spirituality, literature, pastoral care, interfaith relations and nature.

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, former Principal of Leo Baeck College, is now their Emeritus Professor of Bible and edits the College journal European Judaism.   He co-edited three prayerbooks of the Movement for Reform Judaism and is editor of their new Siddur, Seder Ha-t'fillot, Forms of Prayer.  His book Talking to the Other records his experience of interfaith dialogue with Christians and Muslims

Sara Maitland is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Daughters of Jerusalem, and several non-fiction books. Born in 1950, she studied at Oxford University. She was recently named one of the Guardian’s ‘one hundred most important women public intellectuals’. Sara Maitland lives in a hermitage she built on an isolated moor in Galloway, Scotland.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand is the Executive Director of the Movement for Reform Judaism. She was ordained in 1993 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

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