During its formative years, the program dealt with such issues as: what monotheistic faiths share in their moral and ethical views, commitments, and whether there are unique characteristics to monotheism in regions where polytheism dominates. The research done during these formative years also lead to the publication of seven books under the aegis of the program.
The program sponsored courses on Monotheism for university students as well as the general public. A series of conferences were organized and sponsored by the program which attracted participants from across the globe. These conferences, on topics such as Monotheism and Ethics: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives drew a large number of participants and served as a catalyst for establishing academic ties and joint ventures with Asian universities.
We held a conference in partnership with the Department of South and East Asia Studies at Bar-Ilan and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tokyo (consistently ranked East Asia’s top university and among the world’s top 50) aimed at facilitating inter-cultural dialogue among the Judaic, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions.
Following the conference, we established a professional and academically fruitful association with Prof. Youde Fu, a leading exponent of Jewish studies in China and founder of the Center for Jewish Studies at Shandong University which has been designated by the Chinese Ministry of Education as one of only one hundred key centers for development. Prof. Fu is renowned for his Chinese translation of Maimonides's Moreh Nevuchim (Guide for the Perplexed), and more than a dozen other Jewish classics. Harbin University also sent a delegation to Bar-Ilan University to begin establishing partnerships between our institutions.
We also selected two post-doctoral scholars for sponsorship, Dr. Sara Offenberg, who has given us new insight into Jewish-Christian relations during the medieval period through careful study of French art and literature, and Dr. Arin Salamah-Qudsi, who during the course of her fellowship produced a multitude of publications on Islamic mysticism.