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Thomas Michel, S.J.

Thomas Michel, S.J.

Father Tom Michel, S.J., studied Arabic in Lebanon and Egypt and received a PhD 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 Woodstock 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.