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What is A.E.C. of Turin ?  

Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue are creatures of the XXth century. Particularly, the dialogue between Jews and Christians had a strong impulse, in Catholicism, with Vatican Council II (ref. Nostra Aetate, nn. 4-5). Since then, it has been deepened, continued and lived both in official organisms (the various pontifical Secretariats) and in many associations, among which the "Jewish-Christian Friendships"(Amicizie Ebraico-cristiane) throughout the world.

The first "Jewish-Christian Friendship" rose in France, at Lyon, in 1942. In Italy, the first rose in Florence in 1950, thanks to the efforts of Giorgio La Pira and Jules Isaac (the famous author of Jesus and Israel). It remained the only one to the 80s, when a second rose in Rome (1982) and a third one, the ours, in Turin (1986). Nowadays there are many more associations in Italy and, since 1988, they are also united in a Federation, which is member of ICCJ (International Council of Christians and Jews, the international organism which unites the various AECs of the world).

The AEC of Turin collects Jews, Christians and laymen. Its aim is, according to the articles of the association, "to confirm, promote, cultivate and deepen the knowledge and the friendship between Hebraism and Christianity" . It promotes, particularly, "the study of intolerance in all its forms and aspects, and above all, the study of antisemitism".

The AEC of Turin is faithful to this programme,and has given rise to many initiatives : conferences, debates and even social trips in order to directly inform about Jewish reality in Piedmont; it has created a small "Library of AEC" where books and magazines concerning both religions are collected; it has promoted the "Monday Meetings" : since 1989, a group of people meet in the afternoon, one Monday a month, to socialize and chat about topics concerning the association.

 The "Notebooks of AEC"(Quaderni dell'AEC) have risen from these meetings (you can see the paper covers on our web page). If you wish, it is possible to receive them : phone at +39/011.4032685.

These booklets are very simple but, if by reading them, you appreciate the religion of the other more, and you don't only consider it unusual or strange, then, we have reached our aim. It wants to free us from many reciprocal prejudices and intolerances, which still exist in today's mentality.

Surely we cannot get rid of thousands of years of history in a brief time : but let's get off the pedistal, let's try to overcome our fears (they are so many !), let's try to make ourselves respect the other's opinion, even if at first it sounds a bit strange .

The oecumenical and inter-religious dialogue is a long and difficult way. It is a daily achievement that we cannot improvise and it has got nothing to do with proselytism etc. The more you live the oecumenism the more you realize that the dialogue is practicable,or rather, it is ,by now, irreversible, in spite of the difficulties. The basic question still remains: the renewal of the mentality. Well, associations like ours can contribute to succeed in making this ideal come true.


 
 
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