The Catholic University of America

Past Events

"Ecumenical Dialogue: Recent Acquisitions and Ongoing Questions"

Edward Cardinal Cassidy

November 15, 2000

Edward Cardinal Cassidy was the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 1989-2001.  The discussion focused on recent developments in ecumenical and interreligious initiatives and results.

"The Burdens of History for Religion and Peacemaking"

Joseph Montville

Co-sponsored with the Peace and World Order Studies Program

November 7, 2001

Mr. Joseph Montville is the Director of the Preventive Diplomacy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.  He has spent twenty-three years as a diplomat to the Middle East and North Africa.  He has authored the books "Conflict and Peacemaking in Multiethnic Societies" and "The Psychodynamics and International Relations."

"New Islamic Responses to the Challenges of Modernity in Iran"

Professor Ahmad Irvani

April 9, 2002

Professor Ahmad Iravani is from the Columbus School of Law, the Catholic University of America.

"Mission and Dialogue: The Experience of the Jesuits in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century China"

Rev. Dr. John W. Witek, S.J.

March 12, 2003

Rev. Dr. John W. Witek, S.J. is a professor at Georgetown University, Department of History, East Asian Languages Program.

"Prognosis for Catholic-Jewish Relations"

Fr. Norbert Johannes Josef Hofman

Co-sponsored with the Catholic University of America Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Law and Religion

Fr. Norbert Johannes Josef Hofman is the Secretary of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews within the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

"The Renewal of Christianity through Interreligious Dialogue"

Jacques Dupuis, SJ (Gregorian)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Professor Dupuis was a Professor of Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome until 1998.  His many works include Christian Faith: Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church (2001), Christianity and the Religions: From Confrontation to Dialogue (2002), Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism (1999), Who Do You Say I Am: Introduction to Christology (1994), and Jesus Christ at the Encounter of World Religions (1991) with Robert R. Barr (translator). Among his long list of accomplishments, he taught Systematic Theology in India for 25 years.

For more information, click here.

"The Future of Vatican - Israel Relations"

Mr. Oded Ben Hur, Israeli Ambassador to the Vatican

Co-sponsored with the Catholic University of America Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Law and Religion

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

12:30 to 4 PM at the Colombus School of Law

Mr. Ben Hur has served as Isael's ambassador to the Vatican since 2003.  During his distiguished career, he has been posted to Italy, the three Baltic states, India, and the United States.  He holds a Masters in Political Science from Tel Aviv University and a Masters from the "National Defence College" in Tel Aviv.

Lunch will be served at 12:30 followed by the talk.

"Divine Mother, Blessed Mother: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary"

Francis Clooney, SJ, Professor of Comparative Theology at Boston College

Monday, February 14, 2005
3:30 to 5:30 PM

Monsignor Stephen Happel Room, Caldwell Hall
620 Michigan Ave, NE

Professor Clooney is a professor of Comparative Theology and a scholar of the Hindu religion. Among his various activities of the last three years, he has served as the director of the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies. His books include Thinking Ritually (1990), Theology after Vendanta (1993), and Seeing Through Texts(Winner of the International Society for Hindu and Christian Studies' best book award 1994-1996), Hindu Wisdom for All God's Children (1998), Hindu God, Christian God (2001), and Divine Mother, Blessed Mother: Hindu Goddesses and the Virgin Mary (2004).

Critical Respondant:

Alf Hiltebeitel is a professor of Religion and Human Sciences in the Department of Religion at the George Washington University. Recently, he has received a GW Committee on Research, University Facilitating Fund award for "Women Worshiping Draupandi." His books include Rethinking the Mahabharata: A Reader's Guide to the Education of the Dharma King (2001), Is the Goddess a Feminist: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses (2000), and a translation of Madaleine Biardeau's Stories about Posts: Vedic Variations around the Hindu Goddesses.

Followed by light refreshments

More details to follow.

"Finding a Place for the Other: The Future of Jewish-Christian Dialogue"

Cardinal Keeler and Rabbi Jack Bemporad

Co-sponsored with the Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Catholic University of America Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Law and Religion

Thursday, March 10, 2005
1 to 5 PM

Slowinski Court Room, Columbus School of Law
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE

Kosher reception to follow

Speakers include William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore; Rabbi Jack Bemporad of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (Secaucus, NJ); Father Norbert Hofman, Secretary of the Commission for Pontifical Relations with the Jews; Dr. Ellis Rivkin, Hebrew Union College.

"Muslim-Christian Polemic During the Crusades: The Letter from the People of Cyprus and Ibn Talib al-Dimashqi's Response"

David Thomas, PhD, Professor, University of Birmingham, UK

Co-sponsored with the Graduate Student Association, School of Theology and Religious Studies, and the Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies, Semitis Department

Monday, April 11, 2005
1:10 to 3:40 PM

Monsignor Stephen Happel Room, Caldwell Hall
620 Michigan Ave, NE

Light refreshments to follow

Dr. Thomas is a scholar of Medevial Muslim-Christian dialogues and polemics and Christian theology of Islam. His publications include Coptic Christianity before the Ottomans: Text and Context (1996), Islam in the Contemporary World (2000),Islamic Interpretations of Christianity (2001), Anti-Christian Polemic in Early Islam: Abu 'Isa al Warraq'a "Against the Trinity" (1992).

"The Shape of Christianity in the World of Islam: Aplogetics and Ecclesial Self-Definition in the Churches of the Early Califate"

Sidney Griffith, PhD, Professor, The Catholic University of America

Thursday, September 22, 2005
4 to 6 PM

Stephen Happel Room, Caldwell Hall, School of Theology and Religious Studies

Sidney Griffith is a Professor of Semitic Languages at the Catholic University of America. His numerous publications include "Syrian Christians under Islam: The First Thousand Years" (2001), "The Beginnings of Christian Theology in Arabic: Muslim-Christian Encounters in the Early Islamic Period" (2002), and "What has Constantinople to do with Jerusalem? Palestine in the Nineth Century: Byzantine Othodoxy in the World of Islam" (1998).

"The Problem of Empathy in Interreligious Dialogue"

Catherine Cornille, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Boston College

Thursday, November 17, 2005
4 to 6 PM

Stephen Happel Room, Caldwell Hall, School of Theology and Religious Studies. 

Catherine Cornille is an Associate Professor of Comparative Theology at Boston College. From 1990 until 2000, she was Professor of History and Comparative Study of Religions at the Catholic Univeristy of Leuven in Belgium. Her recent publications include the volume "Many Mansions? Multiple Religious Belonging and Christian Identity" (2000), a book in Dutch on the Hindu-Christian Dialogue entitled "Wegen van Heil," and numerous articles in the areas of Theology of Religions and Interreligious Dialogue. She is currently working on a book focusing on the Conditions for the Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue.

"Buddhist Responses to the Jesuit Missions in China in the Seventeenth Century"

Charles Jones, PhD, The Catholic University of America

Thursday March 9, 2006, 4-6pm

Stephen Happel Room, Caldwell Hall
School of Theology and Religious Studies

Charles Jones is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies, School of Theology and Religious Studies, the Catholic Univeristy of America.  His publications include "Christianity in a World of Religious Diversity" (1999), "Religion in Modern Taiwan: Tradition and Innovation in a Changing Society" (2003), "View from Mars Hill: Christianity in the Landscape of World Religions" (2005), and articles on the subjects on religion in China, Buddhism, and religious studies and diversity.