Three members of the Theology Department have been recognized for scholarly contributions to their field.

Professor of Theology M. Shawn Copeland was presented with the Marianist Award from the University of Dayton. The award honors a Roman Catholic scholar for lifetime contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition. Copeland is well-known for her research and teaching on theological anthropology and political theology as well as the African and African intellectual history and religious experience. She is the author of the books, Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being and The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille, and is the principal editor of and a contributor to Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience. At the Nov. 1 award ceremony, Copeland delivered a lecture titled “Traces of the Cross: Theology and Social Suffering.”

J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill was awarded the Civitas Dei Medal, which recognizes Catholics who through their work have made exemplary contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition and have shown particular commitment to the pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness. An ethicist, Cahill is the author/editor of the books, Global Justice, Christology and Christian Ethics; Genetics, Theology, Ethics: An Interdisciplinary Conversation, and Family: A Christian Social Perspective, among many other titles. The award was presented to Cahill by Villanova University at a Nov. 2 ceremony where she delivered an address titled “Augustine, Pope Francis and Social Change.”

In January, Theology Dept. Chair Richard R. Gaillardetz, who holds the Joseph Chair in Catholic Systematic Theology, will be honored by Barry University with its Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence. The award recognizes the contributions of contemporary theologians who embody the spirit of Cardinal Yves Congar, O.P. Gaillardetz is the author/editor of 13 books, including An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis, and the Renewal of Catholicism and Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II. He will deliver a lecture on “Beyond Dogmatism: The Case for Normative Tradition in an Age of Scandal” at the award ceremony, which is scheduled for Jan. 11.

“These awards [including the Seton Medal awarded to Mary Ann Hinsdale earlier this semester] reflect the overall excellence of our Theology Department,” said Gaillardetz. “Boston College has assembled a remarkable group of scholars, many of whom are internationally recognized leaders in their field. This excellence has been reflected not only in these individual awards but also in our recent ranking as one of the top schools in the world for the study of theology.”


--Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications