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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

40th Anniversary Commemoration - The Unknown and Little Know Legacy. Event

Parkes Anniversary Collage
18:00 - 19:30
30 November 2021
This event will be held online and on Avenue Campus, Lecture room C.

For more information regarding this event, please email Clodagh Owens at .

Event details

Please join us for an evening of immersion in the Nazi-era work, images, and sounds of a British life spent in fighting for a world in which 'Jews could live as Jews', one that could not be over-ridden by systems of beliefs that limited the humanity of others, regardless of race, ethnic or religious origins.

About the event

Rev Dr James Parkes is hailed in academic historiography as the 'great Christian pioneer' in three distinct ways: the pioneering purveyor of scholarly studies linking Christian teachings on Jews to modern antisemitism; the pioneering dissenter on Christian missions to Jews; and the pioneering insister on the perdurability of God's covenant with Jews. Yet Parkes also rescued and worked on behalf of innumerable Jewish refugees, fighting against Nazi and fascist propaganda as well as inequities of traditional Church attitudes. He was a key figure in international and national bodies, both secular and religious, which brought thousands of Jews out of Nazi occupied Europe. He informed, if not hammered, both the British state and public on the fate of European Jewry at the hands of the ‘Final Solution’, demanding action from Western Allies. He argued steadily, beginning in the mid and late 1930s, for a national home for Jews in Palestine and, after the war, he was the first leading Church figure in Britain to not only accept but welcome the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.

The evening will include presentations on James Parkes by Carolyn Sanzenbach and Chad McDonald and the reading of extracts of James Parkes unpublished letter about the Holocaust from 1943.

We will also launch and demonstrate the digital exhibition James Parkes and the Age of Intolerance, curated by Chad McDonald and digitized by Katie Power.

Dr Chad McDonald, ‘'Early Life and Influences: Known and Forgotten?’will discuss James Parkes’ life and activities until his arrival back in England in 1935. In doing so, he will explore what inspired him to develop the travelling exhibition about Parkes’ life, linking into the fact that Parkes appeared to have been forgotten in many circles.

Dr Carolyn Sanzenbacher, 'New Evidence and Changing Perceptions', will look at aspects of the unknown and little-known legacy of James Parkes, bringing to light his national and international work on behalf of Jewish refugees throughout the Hitler years; his wartime collaborations with Jewish groups on postwar restoration of Jewish rights; and his increasing emphasis on the necessity of the State of Israel.

The evening will be chaired by Professor Tony Kushner.

Speaker information

Dr Chad McDonald, is a Visiting Fellow at the Parkes Institute, University of Southampton, and Senior Academic & Study Skills Tutor, Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the Social Media Editor for Patterns of Prejudice, and Curator of the award-winning travelling exhibition James Parkes and the Age of Intolerance, which has been featured at Christian, Jewish, and civic venues throughout Britain.

Dr Carolyn Sanzenbacher , is Honorary Fellow, Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations; administrative co-director, International Network for Interreligious Research and Education (INIRE), founded at Duke University Kenan Institute of Ethics in 2017; and chair of the annual panel on The Church and The Holocaust at the European Academy of Religion. Her forthcoming book from Manchester University Press, Tracking the Jews: Ecumenical Protestants, Conversion, and the Holocaust, is an archival reconstruction that brings from the shadows an ecumenical Protestant initiative for world evangelisation of Jews during the Hitler years, one in which James Parkes plays a pivotal role.

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