Professor, author, editor and leader in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, now at Sophia University Institute, Italy and advisor to the Vatican.
Donald W. Mitchell is Professor emeritus of Asian and comparative philosophy and religion at Purdue University with specializations in Buddhism and the Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He is now permanent visiting professor of interreligious dialogue at Sophia University Institute, Florence, Italy; and editor of Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture. As one of the founders of the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies and associate editor of its journal, he became director of the International Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter. His 32-years in the international Buddhist-Christian encounter in Europe, Asia and the United States includes advising the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, and the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers. Besides his lifelong work in the Buddhist-Christian dialogue, he spent ten years after 9/11 developing Muslim-Christian public diplomacy projects with the U. S. Department of State in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Today he is one of the organizers of Pope Francis’s new “Dialogue of Fraternity” which builds deeper interreligious relationships that provide a foundation for joint social action. Among his many publications are: Spirituality and Emptiness: The Dynamics of Spiritual Life in Buddhism and Christianity, Masao Abe: A Zen Life of Dialogue, The Gethsemani Encounter, and Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience.