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Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Miguel H. Díaz at SMU Dec. 3

November 13, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) – Miguel H. Díaz, University Professor of Faith and Culture at Dayton University, and former United States Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome, Italy, will deliver a public lecture, “Revisiting the Garden of Eden: God, Communal Relations, and the Quest for Peace,” at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology on December 3, 2013.

Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at SMU, will offer a response to Díaz’s lecture. The event, which is free and open to the public, is set for 5 p.m. in Perkins Chapel, 6001 Bishop Boulevard, on the Dallas campus of SMU.

Miguel H. DíazDíaz comes as a visiting scholar under the auspices of The Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins School of Theology. Thanks to a collaboration between Perkins School of Theology and University Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Díaz will preach as well as lecture during his visit. He is scheduled to speak on “Becoming God’s Ambassadors to Build the House of God” at University Park UMC at 11 a.m. Sunday, December 8.

Prior to accepting an endowed chair at the University of Dayton, Díaz was the first Hispanic to represent the United States at the Vatican, where he served as Ambassador from 2009–2012. He also helped launch the Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group of the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, an initiative that facilitates regular engagement with communities of faith.

A distinguished Catholic theologian, Díaz has authored numerous books and articles, including On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001). He earned his Ph.D. in Theology in 2000 and M.A. in Theology in 1992, both from the University of Notre Dame. His honorary degrees include: Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, Portland University, Oregon (2011); Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, St. Thomas University, Miami, Florida (2011); Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, Fordham University, New York (2010); and Doctor of Sacred Theology, Honoris Causa, Florida Center for Theological Studies, Miami (2010).

“It is a privilege to welcome such a prominent scholar and accomplished public servant to Perkins,” says Hugo Magallanes, director of The Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions. “Thanks to the Henry W. Luce Foundations, we are glad to have brought a number of visiting scholars to Perkins School of Theology and SMU as well as to the larger community, and Díaz’s visit is a high point.”

Perkins School of Theology Dean William B. Lawrence echoes Magallanes’ sentiments. “Díaz is in extraordinarily high demand,” Lawrence observes, “and we are very pleased that he chose to accept our invitation to be a visiting scholar at Perkins. We look forward to the significant public lecture by Ambassador Díaz, and to the response by another internationally known Roman Catholic theologian, Professor Charles Curran, as well as to the time that our faculty, students, and staff will enjoy with Professor Díaz.”

The public is invited to join scholars, students, and others for Diaz’s December 3 lecture in Perkins Chapel and to attend the Sunday morning worship service at University Park UMC where Díaz will preach December 8.

For more information about Díaz’s visit to Dallas, contact Magallanes, hugo@smu.edu, 214.768.2158, or the Office of Public Affairs at Perkins, tmclemore@smu.edu, 214.768.1393.

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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911 at Southern Methodist University, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Church Ministries, and Doctor of Ministry, as well as the Ph.D., which is offered as a cooperative venture by Perkins School of Theology and the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU.