Published on August 19th, 2021 | by University Communications


CCJS guest speakers to discuss MLK’s letter from Birmingham jail

The Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies will host two guest speakers in November who will address “The Significance of MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail Today.” Dr. Matthew Tapie, the center’s director, invites faculty to incorporate this special talk into their fall lesson plans or course assignments.

The speakers are Rabbi Dr. David Novak, a renowned scholar, internationally known ethicist, and chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto; and Dr. Vincent Lloyd, a prolific writer and professor who specializes in Christian teachings and directs the Africana Studies Program at Villanova University. Their dialogue will center on the late Martin Luther King Jr.’s influential 1963 letter about civil rights and nonviolent protest for social justice, and its resonance with issues in 2021. Their talk will take place 1-2:20 p.m., on Thursday, November 4, in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms in the Student Community Center.

The event is planned in support of one of the center’s commitments, which is to offer students exposure to interreligious and interfaith understanding and dialogue, and opportunities to learn the skills involved. Information for students and teaching resources for faculty are available on a registration page for the program:

Novak and Lloyd were invited by CCJS to appear at Saint Leo in conjunction with a special event planned for the evening of November 4 in Tampa. The center will present Novak with the 2021 Eternal Light Award, given to a person who has made outstanding contributions to the field of Jewish-Christian relations. The scholars will give a different presentation during that event, which is also open to the public. More information and a registration form are at

For more details on either of these programs and remote viewing options, please contact Tapie at or (352) 588-7298. 


The views expressed during this event are those of the speaker/presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the university.


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