Ambassador to Vatican to Take Endowed Professorship at University of Dayton

Nov 07, 2012, 09:00 ET from University of Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Miguel H. Diaz, United States Ambassador to the Holy See since 2009, has been named University Professor of Faith and Culture at the University of Dayton.



He will assume the endowed professorship on Nov. 16.

"As ambassador, I know first hand the role of American culture and leadership in international relations as well as the growing importance of religion on the world stage," he said. "I look forward to building bridges between faith and culture, and to facilitating inclusive, scholarly and constructive conversations that advance the common good."

A prominent Catholic theologian, Diaz was the first Hispanic to represent the United States at the Vatican. Last fall he helped launch the Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group of the Secretary of State's Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. This groundbreaking initiative facilitates regular engagement with communities of faith. 

"Miguel Diaz finds common ground in discourses that too often divide. He has been an influential Catholic leader in areas as far ranging as human trafficking to inter-religious dialogue," said Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton. "He brings a wealth of experience and a thoughtful theological approach to issues of faith and culture. We're delighted that he's accepted this important, highly visible position at the University of Dayton."

Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, welcomed Diaz 's return to Catholic higher education.

"As a world-class scholar who has spent the last three years in service to our country and the world community, Miguel Diaz brings a valuable perspective to Catholic higher education," Galligan-Stierle said. "The wisdom and insights he gained while serving as ambassador to the Holy See will significantly enhance not only the University of Dayton, but also the broader Catholic higher education community."

Before being named U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Diaz taught theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. He was a board member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and is former president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.

Diaz's books include On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives, for which he received the Hispanic Theological Initiative's 2002 Book of the Year award from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also co-edited From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology.

SOURCE University of Dayton