Jordan Loewen (M.Div., 2015) is among twelve seminary students and forty-eight graduate students selected to participate in the 2014 Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Professional Study of Ethics (FASPE). His interest in the program grew as a result of a class he took on revelation and biblical interpretation in a postmodern, post-Holocaust world. “Reading Jacques Derrida and Emmanuel Levinas for that class made me think about the ‘other’ and interreligious dialogue, particularly between Christians and Jews,” he said. Jordan is looking forward to engaging with fellows from different schools, disciplines, and religious backgrounds. He is particularly interested in exploring how clergy and religious leaders participated in and sought to prevent and stop Holocaust atrocities. “I hope to use the information I learn as a springboard to further explore the ethical role of religious leaders in our society today—the significance of how they engage the social and political context of their time.”
In its fifth year of operation, FASPE is a two-week program that provides students in medical, law, journalism, and seminary graduate programs with an opportunity to explore contemporary ethics by studying the history of the Holocaust. Fellows travel to New York, Germany, and Poland, and visit sites like the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City; the House of the Wannsee Conference, the site where State and Nazi Party representatives met in Berlin in 1942 to discuss the Nazis’ “Final Solution”; and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim or “Auschwitz.” Through lectures, seminars, and tours, fellows are challenged to consider current ethical issues in their professional fields in light of lessons learned through the Holocaust.