Thomas Michel, S.J.
The Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University
Father Thomas Michel, S.J., is a leading expert and sought-after speaker in the area of Muslim-Christian Dialogue. He initially came to the Woodstock Theological Center as a Visiting Fellow in 2008 and returned as a Senior Fellow in 2012 to lead Woodstock’s efforts in fostering deeper understandings of the ways that followers of the world’s religions engage business, politics, science, and contemporary social problems as a result of their faith. Father Michel serves in numerous institutions and organizations, including the Academic Council of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, the National Advisory board of the Khalidi Library in Jerusalem, and the Advisory Board of the Center for Civilizational Dialogue at the University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has taught for many years in Indonesia, the Philippines, and around the United States, Europe, and Turkey.
Father Michel studied Arabic in Lebanon and Egypt and received a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. His doctoral thesis focused on the thought of Sunni Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya. In 1981, he was appointed to the Asia Desk of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and in 1988 he became Head of the Office for Islam in the same Vatican department. In 1994 he was named Executive Secretary of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Bangkok, Thailand. Beginning in 1996, he served as Secretary for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome and Ecumenical Secretary for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. After spending 2008-9 at Woodstock as an International Visiting Fellow, Father Michel joined the Jesuit community in Ankara, Turkey — the only Catholic religious community working in that city.
- Phone: 202-687-3532
- Ph.D., Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Chicago
- Academic Council of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
- International Advisory Board of the Khalidi Library in Jerusalem
- Advisory Board of the Center for Civilizational Dialogue at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Previous Positions of Note
- Member of the Jesuit community in Ankara, Turkey (the only Catholic religious community working in that city)
- International Visiting Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center (2008-2009)
- Secretary for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome and Ecumenical Secretary for the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences
- Executive Secretary of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Bangkok, Thailand
- Head of the Office for Islam in Vatican Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
- Asia Desk of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
- Taught for many years in Indonesia, the Philippines, and around the United States, Europe, and Turkey
- Bina’ Thaqafat Al-Hiwar. Damascus: Fikr, 2010.
- A Christian View Of Islam. Ed. Irfan A. Omar. Orbis Books, 2010.
- Bir Bariş Öncüsü. Istanbul: Ufuk Kitap, 2006.
- Said Nursi’s Views On Muslim-Christian Understanding : Eight Papers. Istanbul, Turkey: Söz Basim Yayin, 2005.
- Christlich-Islamischer Dialog Und Die Zusammenarbeit Nach Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Istanbul: Nesil, 2004.
- Reflection’s On Said Nursi’s Views On Muslim-Christian Understanding. Istanbul: Söz Basm Yayın, 2003.
- What Muslims Should Know About Christianity. Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa, 2003.
- Reflections On Said Nursî’s Views On Muslim-Christian Understanding. Istanbul, Turkey: Söz Basim Yayin, 2003.
- Um Cristão Encontra O Islão. Braga: Editorial A.O., 2002.
- Pokok-pokok Iman Kristiani: Sharing Iman Seorang Kristiani Dalam Dialog Antar Agama. Kota Kinabalu: Daughters of St. Paul, 2002.
- Alla Confluenza Dei Due Mari: Un Cristiano Incontra L’Islam. 2nd ed. Roma: Icone, 2001.
- Pokok-Pokok Iman Kristiani. Sharing Iman Seorang Kristiani dalam Dialog Antar Agama, Yogyakarta, 2001.
- Some Points Of Similarity And Difference Between Christianity And Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Fire, 1999.
- A Christian Looks At Islamic Spirituality. Zamboanga City, Philippines: Silsilah Publications, 1997.
- A Christian Looks At Islamic Spirituality. Silsilah Publications, 1997.
Selected Articles and Papers
- “Korenine muslimanske jeze in njihov izziv za kristjane.” Tretji dan31 (2002): 71–78.
- “Where to Now? Ways Forward in Interreligious Dialogue: Images of Abraham as Models of Interreligious Encounter.” The Muslim World. October 2010.
- “Der Flügel des Vogels: Gülen über Aufrichtigkeit.” CIBEDO – Beiträge zum Gespräch zwischen Christen und Muslimen(Frankfurt) 3/2009.
- “The Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue.” Asian Christian Review (Kanagawa). Winter 2007.
- “The Achievement of John Paul II in the Field of Interreligious Dialogue: Will it Be Carried on?” The Catholic Church in Dialogue with Islam and Judaism: The Dialogue Series/7. Antwerp 2006.
- “Abdul Ghaffar Khan dan Gerakan Antikekerasan.” Basis. maret-april 2006.
- “Prendere sul serio la fede degli altri.” in Confronti (Roma)maggio 2006.
- “Hagar. Mother of Faith in the Compassionate God.” Islamochristiana.30. (2004). Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. April 2005.
- “Dios el existente: los nombres de Dios en el Islam.” Sal Terrae (Bilbao). Septiembre 2005.
- “Sufism and Modernity in the Thought of Fethullah Gülen.” The Muslim World. July 2005.