Jesuit Father Brian Edward Daley of Notre Dame University is one of two winners of the 2012 Ratzinger Prize in Theology.
“Fr. Daley,” Cardinal Camillo Ruini said, “is a great historian of patristic theology, but also a man entirely committed to the life and mission of the Church, an exemplary model of the fusion of academic rigor with passion for the Gospel.”
Also winning this year’s prize is the lay French philosopher Rémi Brague, whom Cardinal Ruini described as “a true philosopher and, at the same time, a great historian of cultural thought who unites a profound and unequivocal Christian and Catholic faith to his speculative ability and historical vision.”
The two men will collect their award in Rome on Oct. 20 during the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. Their financial reward is 50,000 euros each.
Fr. Brian Daley is the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at Notre Dame. A student at Fordham, Oxford and Frankfurt, he was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1970. Beginning in 1978, he taught historical theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., before moving to Notre Dame in 1996.
Fr. Daley is active in the field of ecumenism, particularly relations between Catholics and Orthodox. He currently serves as the executive secretary of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.
Among other many works, he is the author of “The Hope of the Early Church: A Handbook of Patristic Eschatology” and has edited an anthology of texts of Jesuit spirituality entitled “Companions in the Mission of Jesus.”
He is also a contributor to the English edition of Communio magazine, which was founded in 1972 by, amongst others, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri De Lubac and Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
Away from the seminar room, the Jesuit priest is also a certified rowing and a boxing coach, serving as the “cut and bucket man” during Notre Dame’s annual “Bengal Bouts” student boxing competition, which raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh.
Now in its second year of existence, the Ratzinger Prize is already being referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Theology.”
It is sponsored by the Joseph Ratzinger Vatican Foundation, which was founded with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Its stated aim is to “promote the publication, distribution and study of the writings of former university professor Joseph Ratzinger.” It also provides grants to doctorate students of theology and organizes high-level academic conferences. The activities of the foundation are financed through the publication and sale of Pope Benedict’s works.