Jitsuo Morikawa, a prominent Baptist theologian and former pastor of First Baptist Church, believed that the Bible’s mandate to “love our neighbor” is often most profoundly experienced, or denied, by the way Christians in their roles within private and public organizations influence the behavior of those institutions toward humankind.
The Morikawa Lectures, established in Jitsuo’s memory, bring significant voices to the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor community to address questions of ethics and values, and the application of Christian principles within private and public organizations. Speakers have included Hans Kung, Gustavo Guiterrez and Harvey Cox.
Most recently the Lectures sponsored an interfaith Conference on Religion and Peacemaking in the Middle East, which brought Muslims, Jews, and Christians together to explore how the application of common religious concepts such as reconciliation and transformation can create a context for peace, justice,and security for both Israel and Palestine. Conference participants are finding ways to continue their work together here in the United States to further those ends.