Ambassador to Vatican to Teach at UD
Miguel H. Díaz, 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.
Díaz, a theologian, served as an assistant professor of religious studies at UD from 1996-1998. The first Hispanic to represent the United States at the Vatican, he has taught at several universities and was a board member of the Catholic Theological Society of America as well as former president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.
“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,” Díaz says. “I look forward to building bridges between faith and culture, and to facilitating inclusive, scholarly and constructive conversations that advance the common good.”
Fluent in Italian, Spanish and French, Díaz also reads Greek, Latin and German. His academic interests include theological anthropology, Latino/Latina theologies and Trinitarian theology. His books include On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives (Orbis Books, 2002), for which he received the Hispanic Theological Initiative’s 2002 Book of the Year award from Princeton Theological Seminary, and From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology (Orbis Books, 1999), which he co-edited.
“Miguel’s expertise in Hispanic and Latino/a theology will help the University reach out to Hispanic populations for both faculty and student recruiting,” sats Paul Benson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, adding that his international diplomatic experience will help link the University to populations abroad. “It’s all part of a strategic effort to further diversify and internationalize our campus and to move the University to a position of leadership in global Catholic conversations.”
Born in Havana, Díaz moved to the United States as a child. The first member of his family to go to college, Díaz earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Saint Thomas University and a master’s and doctor of philosophy in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Besides the University of Dayton, he previously taught at Barry University, Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, andNotre Dame.
Díaz and his wife, Marian, have four children. Marian, also a theologian, has joined the University of Dayton’s faculty as a lecturer. She is teaching courses in scripture.
Díaz succeeds historian David O’Brien, who retired as University Professor of Faith and Culture this summer.
Photo courtesy the University of Dayton.
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