Over 150 students, faculty and community members filled the Arnold Bernhard Center’s Tower Room as the College of Public and International Affairs (CPIA) hosted a landmark event. UB President Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor of Religion Richard L. Rubenstein was honored on the 50th anniversary of the publication of his book, After Auschwitz: History, Theology and Contemporary Judaism. It was CPIA’s first major gathering of the Fall semester on Sept. 7.
Hailed as a major figure in contemporary religious and social thought, Dr. Rubenstein is renowned for his contribution to Holocaust and genocide studies. He is credited with the creation of Holocaust theology with this book’s first edition in 1966.
“It represented a validation I hadn’t expected,” he said. With its departure from conventional beliefs and standards, After Auschwitz “started as a heretical book and now we see the University of Bridgeport, Florida State University and Congregation Beth El (Fairfield, CT), a conservative Jewish congregation, holding commemorations for the anniversary. It’s great after all these years to know I wasn’t wrong.”
City of Bridgeport Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kimberly Staley offered greetings and presented a citation from Mayor Joe Ganim honoring Dr. Rubenstein on the historic anniversary of After Auschwitz.
The evening featured a conversation with Dr. Rubenstein, hosted by UB Provost Dr. Stephen Healey. UB President Neil Salonen spoke of his admiration for Dr. Rubenstein and his dedication to the University and its students in his opening remarks.
“This was a great night,” said CPIA Dean Thomas Ward. “Everyone really got to understand what went behind the writing of this book.”