Thursday 23 February 2017 5pm “Georgetown Lecture on Contemporary Islam”: A Christian Encounter with Said Nursi’s Risale-i Nur, Professor Thomas Michel, SJ, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. / Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d’Islamistica, Roma.
Thomas Michel, SJ, was born in St. Louis, USA, in 1941, and joined the Jesuits in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 1971.After studying Arabic and Islamic studies in Egypt and Lebanon, he received a doctorate in Islamic theology at the University of Chicago. In 1981-1994, Fr. Michel worked in the Vatican as Head of the Office for Relations with Muslims at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. In 1994-2008, he served as Secretary for Interreligious Affairs for the Catholic bishops of Asia, based in Bangkok, and as Secretary for Interreligious Dialogue, at the Jesuit Curia in Rome. In 2008, he received the International Tschelebi Peace Prize from the Central Islamic Institute of Germany, and in 2009 he received the Ali Shir Navai Award from the International Turkish Olympiad in Ankara, Turkey. In 2010, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Theology by the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago. In 2013, he received the Building Bridges of Understanding Award from Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding of Georgetown University. In 2013-2016, he taught religious studies at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in Doha, Qatar. Fr. Michel has taught in several universities in different countries and is the author of several books including A Christian View of Islam: Essays on Dialogue, ed. Irfan A. Omar, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY 2010. Father Tom Michel is visiting professor at PISAI since 2016.