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Fr. Tom Michel presents “A Catholic Priest Among Muslims”

Seton Hall > News & Events

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
by: Sarah Adlis


Fr. Thomas Michel

Seton Hall’s Center for Catholic Studies and the Department of Religion present A Catholic Priest Among Muslims: 40 Years in Dialogue with the Followers of Islam, a lecture by Fr. Tom Michel, Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center. In the contemporary world few areas are more ripe for building bridges than the area of Muslim-Christian relations. Fr. Thomas Michel, a Catholic priest, has lived and worked in Islamic countries for many years, and he will be sharing with us the fruits of his experience and his wisdom. The lecture was held on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 4 p.m. at Seton Hall University’s Arts & Science Building, Room 109.

Watch the video of our A Catholic Priest Among Muslims lecture here »

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Religion and the Center for Catholic Studies.

For more information »

About the Event:
Fr. Thomas Michel writes, “Many people see the need for interreligious and intercultural dialogue but are not sure where to begin. I have often been asked, ‘How do you go about starting up dialogue with others?’ Especially because I am a Christian who has lived and shared life with Muslims for many years, they ask, ‘How do you go about beginning a dialogue with Muslims? Where do you start?’ I believe that the first thing we have to do is to look around at the society in which we live to try to identify those who are our logical partners in dialogue. Who are the individuals and groups with whom we find ourselves sharing ideals, whose vision of the future is at least compatible with our own, whose value system intersects with ours at various points? Thus, for the Christian who wants to enter into dialogue with Muslims, the first step is to distinguish and recognize the movements, organizations and communities of Muslims who are open to dialogue with us, who have something to say to us from which we might learn something, and who are also ready to listen to us, to hear our stories, and to appreciate our religious and humane vision of life, even as they remain committed to their own spiritual path.”

About the lecturer:
Fr. Tom Michel, S.J. 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. Since 1994, he has served as 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 the Woodstock Theological Center as an International Visiting Fellow, Father Michel joined the Jesuit community in Ankara, Turkey -- the only Catholic religious community working in that city.

Fr. Michel has taught for many years in Indonesia, the Philippines, and around the United States, Europe and Turkey. He is on the board of numerous institutions and organizations, including the Academic Council of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, the International Advisory Board of the Khalidi Library in Jerusalem and the Advisory Board of the Center for Civilizational Dialogue at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

About the Center for Catholic Studies
Seton Hall University’s Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture. To that end, it sponsors an undergraduate degree program for students, focusing on interdisciplinary studies, with opportunities for community, service, scholarship and foreign study. The Center is the home of the G.K. Chesterton Institute, the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute and the Micah Institute for Business and Economics and their publications. The Center offers study and research, as well as an ongoing program on faith and culture, social justice, business and the economy, for audiences world-wide. For more information »

For more information please contact:
Sarah Adlis
(973) 275-2175
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