Andrew James Boyd
Professor of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue at the Pontifical Beda College, Rome
A. J. Boyd is professor of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, and assistant professor of theology and religious studies for various university programs in Rome, including The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), The Australian Catholic University (Melbourne, AU), Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.), and Richmond University (London, UK). His focus areas are ecclesiology, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue, with particular interest in the diaconate and non-ordained professional ministry. He came to Rome as a Russell Berrie Fellow in Interreligious Studies, and worked as assistant director of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome for three years.
Prior to his academic work in Rome, Prof. Boyd served as a lay ecclesial minister of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle in the United States, where he was an instructor in the diocesan catechist and ministry certification program and worked locally and nationally for both ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, including two years on the National Planning Committee of the National Workshop on Christian Unity, the largest annual conference for ecumenical professionals in the U.S.
His interest in promoting Christian unity and in developing interfaith understanding was sparked at a very young age, of about seven years old, and has been his life’s vocation ever since. He is also active in promoting interreligious dialogue and religious literacy within the Scouting program.
His motto is “Truth has no fear of dialogue.”
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Teaching Religion in Rome
At its core, this project is about bringing together the disparate academic faculty and religious leaders who are engaged in teaching religions and interreligious dialogue in Rome, especially those serving international students. The higher education reality in Rome consists of: Pontifical Universities & Institutes; Italian Universities; US and UK Universities with Rome campuses or programs – this includes both private Catholic, private nonsectarian, and public state universities (who take different approaches to the study of religion and dialogue). Additionally there are several centers and institutes promoting dialogue, several religious groups that have representatives who will engage academic groups, and religious congregations (sisters, brothers, monks, nuns) who engage in interreligious dialogue. Finally there is the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue which, among other initiatives, sponsors non-Christian students to come to Rome for study.
However, there is not currently any networking, limited synergy and collaboration between these various actors. The purpose of the initiative is to bring them together to share research, resources, best practices and hopefully to inspire further joint initiatives and publications, ultimately benefiting the thousands of students who in some way engage religion in Rome at the tertiary level.