The John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue was established in 2010 as a partnership between the Angelicum and the Russell Berrie Foundation. The Center is designed to build bridges between Christians and other religious traditions. It aims to provide the next generation of religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of interreligious dialogue in theology, life and pastoral practice.
The Center operates under the auspices of the Ecumenical Section in the Faculty of Theology, but serves as a resource for all faculty, students and guests of the University on interreligious issues and subjects. The Center provides support for the visiting faculty and students in its various programmes.
The Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies is available for priests, seminarians, religious, and lay students working toward a Licentiate or the Diploma in Interreligious Studies. The Fellowship covers the cost of tuition, fees, a modest living stipend and book allowance for one year, as well as travel to and from the recipient’s home country once a year.
Fellows are expected to concentrate on Interreligious Studies in addition to their regular course of study, participate in a series of specialized lectures and enrichment programmes, and attend a study seminar in Israel. Distinguished Visiting Professorships are provided to world-class theologians, philosophers, and other scholars to bring experts in fields of study important to interreligious dialogue to the Angelicum, with the purpose of offering short, intensive courses to the Russell Berrie Fellows and other students. The 2013-14 Distinguished Visiting Professors included Rabbi Professor Burton L. Visotzky (Jewish Theological Seminary), Professor Marshall Breger (Catholic University of America), and Rabbi Professor Jack Bemporad (Center for Interreligious Understanding).
The aim of the Diploma in Interreligious studies is to provide for those who are not qualified for entrance into the STL programme the opportunity to explore various aspects of interreligious issues. The Diploma programme will look at the issues of method in dealing with the concept of religion and the relationships between religions, including the role religion plays in the matrix of culture and society. In addition students have the opportunity to study the teaching of the Catholic Church in regards to her relationship to other religions and the question of salvation. This Diploma is made possible through the support and collaboration of the Russell Berrie Foundation. Requirements for completion of the Diploma is the redaction of a 15-20 page integration paper under the supervision of one of the professors. The norms for admission to the Diploma programme will be determined by the Dean’s office based on University requirements.
The programme has 4 areas of study:
12 courses and 1 seminar (40 ECTS) are required to have been successfully completed in order to obtain the diploma.