Academic Advisory Committee

Prof. Adam Afterman

Director, John Paul II Center

Professor Adam Afterman is Director of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Chair of the Department of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud at Tel Aviv University.

He is a Senior Research Fellow at The Center for Religious and Interreligious Studies at Tel Aviv University and Senior Fellow of the Kogod Center for the Renewal of Jewish Thought at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Between 2008-2018 he was a member of the steering committee of the Interreligious Theology Conference at the Shalom Hartman Institute and is Co-Director of Hartman’s new interreligious program “Theologies for Religious Pluralism”. Professor Afterman’s main fields of study are medieval Jewish philosophy, Jewish mysticism and interreligious dialogue.

Rabbi Jack Bemporad

Founder and Director Emeritus, John Paul II Center

Rabbi Jack Bemporad is the Founder and Director Emeritus of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Professor of Interreligious Studies at the Angelicum University (Rome). He has been Director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (U.S.) since its inception in 1992, as well as Senior Rabbinic Scholar at Chavurah Beth Shalom (Tenafly, NJ, U.S.)

Promoting interfaith dialogue for more than 30 years, he has met with world religious leaders, from private meetings with Pope John Paul II, to appearing on panels with the Dalai Lama. In 2013, he led eight leading Imams and Muslim leaders from the Middle East and developing world to Auschwitz, and as a result of their experience, the Imams issued a landmark public statement condemning Holocaust Denial and anti-Semitism. Most recently, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Theology, honoris causa from the Angelicum.

A popular speaker and author, Rabbi Bemporad’s publications include: Our Age: The Historic New Era of Christian-Jewish Understanding; and The Inner Journey: Views from the Jewish Tradition, Editor. Rabbi Bemporad also contributed the chapter on “Norms of War in Judaism” for World Religions and Norms of War, published by the United Nations University Press. Most recently, he authored the chapter on “Sharing Sacred Spaces: a Jewish Perspective” in Between Cultural Diversity and Common Heritage, published by Ashgate, and contributed a memoir of the philosopher Hans Jonas in Giacobbe E L’Angelo (Jacob and the Angel), published in Rome, 2012.

Sr. Catherine Joseph Droste

Dean, Faculty of Theology

Sister Catherine Joseph Droste, O.P. is originally from Iowa, USA and a Dominican Sister of the Congregation of St. Cecilia, Nashville, Tennessee. Sister Droste holds an STL and STD in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Other studies include a Bachelor of Arts in History from Christendom College, a Masters in History from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Marymount University in Washington, D.C. She currently teaches moral theology at the Angelicum and serves as Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Director of Collaboration with other academic institutions both within the Dominican Order and beyond.

Fr. James F. Puglisi

Director, Centro Pro Unione

Fr. James F. Puglisi, s.a., is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and professor of ecumenism, ecclesiology and sacraments at the Angelicum and other universities in Rome. His studies include degrees in sociology and liturgical theology at the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), in ecumenical studies at Boston University, and doctoral studies in history and religious anthropology at the Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne (Ph.D., suma cum laude) and in systematic theology at the Institut catholique de Paris (STD, summa cum laude). In addition, he is the Director the Centro Pro Unione a center for research and dialogue in Rome. Fr. Puglisi has served on several commissions of the World Council of Churches and of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. From 2004 until 2014 he served as the Minister General of his religious congregation which is dedicated to promoting Christian unity and Inter-religious dialogue.

He has authored and/or edited several works: The Process of Admission to Ordained Ministry: A Comparative Study. (3vols); Enchiridion Œcumenicum. (5 vols); Testimoni della fede nelle chiese della Riforma; How Can the Petrine Ministry Be a Service to the Unity of the Universal Church?; Petrine Ministry and the Unity of the Church.