Gerl-Falkovitz, 76, is a specialist on the German philosopher Edith Stein -- also known by her religious name, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross -- and the prominent intellectual Servant of God Romano Guardini. She has also edited books of the complete works of both 20th-century Catholic figures.
She received her doctorate in philosophy in 1971 and was a professor of philosophy of religions and comparative religious sciences at the University of Dresden from 1993 to 2011.
Gerl-Falkovitz now leads the European Institute of Philosophy and Religion at the Pope Benedict XVI Philosophical-Theological University in Austria. In recent years she has been publicly critical of “gender theory,” which she said instrumentalizes the body.
Schwienhorst-Schönberger, 64, studied theology and Holy Scripture in Münster, Germany, and Jerusalem, Israel, and is considered one of the foremost experts on the Sapiential books in the Bible, especially the Song of Songs.
He taught exegesis of the Old Testament and Hebrew language at the University of Passau in Germany from 1993 to 2007, and is now a professor of the Old Testament at the University of Vienna.
Last year’s Ratzinger Prize winners were Australian professor Tracey Rowland and French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion, who will also receive the award on Nov. 13, after the prize ceremony for the 2020 edition was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.