—Father Jamal Daibes will be the Mackay Professor of World Christianity—

Princeton, NJ, December 19, 2012–Dr. Jamal Daibes, dean of the Faculty of Arts, professor of theology, and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Bethlehem University in Palestine, will join the Princeton Theological Seminary faculty for the spring term of the 2012–2013 academic year as the John A. Mackay Visiting Professor of World Christianity.

jamal daibesDr. Daibes earned both his Ph.D. (1999) and his M.A. (1992) in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1988, at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.

During his tenure at Bethlehem University, he has been involved in conversations among Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and has participated in interreligious dialogue in Palestine/Israel, and in conferences on justice and non-violence in the region.  

While at Princeton Seminary, Father Daibes will teach two courses. “Religions and Peace in the Holy Land” will focus on the role of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in terms of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how religious people can contribute to peace. A second course, “Palestinian Contextual Theology,” will focus on the people, history, politics, and religion of Palestine and the challenges facing Palestinian Christians in the areas of scriptural interpretation, interreligious dialogue, and Christian presence and mission.     

Commenting on Dr. Daibes’s appointment, Academic Dean James Kay said, “As Christmastide approaches and our thoughts turn to the Prince of Peace born in Bethlehem, Princeton Seminary welcomes Father Jamal Daibes, a distinguished Palestinian theologian, from the ancient City of David. He will help our seminarians better understand the mission and witness of the church amid the seemingly intractable conflicts of today’s Middle East. This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire Seminary community to expand our horizons, to connect with our fellow Christians in Palestine, and to deepen our commitments to interreligious dialogue on behalf of a more peaceful world.”     

The Mackay Chair in World Christianity is named for the Seminary’s third president, John A. Mackay, a native of Scotland who was a missionary to Latin America before he became the Seminary’s president and professor of ecumenics. The chair makes it possible for a scholar from the international church to spend a semester in Princeton teaching in the Seminary’s curriculum.

Princeton Seminary was established in 1812 by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a post-graduate professional school of theology. Currently concluding its Bicentennial year, Princeton is the largest Presbyterian seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.