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Historian Brad Gregory wins Expanded Reason Awards honorable mention

Author: Kristian Olsen

Brad Gregory Expanded Reason Awards 2

Brad Gregory, director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and Dorothy G. Griffin Professor of Early Modern European History, received a 2018 Expanded Reason Awards honorable mention for his book, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Belknap Press, 2012).

Organized by the Francisco de Vitoria University (Madrid) and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, the Expanded Reason Awards aim to recognize academic achievements that advance Pope Benedict’s proposal to widen the horizon of reason.  

“In the context of a positivist and relativist culture, Joseph Ratzinger and later Benedict XVI points out the deep division of knowledge and the excessive specialization of the university field that leave out an overall vision that gives meaning to each specific science,” says Fr. Federico Lombardi, president of the Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation and a jury member for the prize. In opposition to this prevailing culture, the Expanded Reason Awards “seek to promote a transdisciplinary dialogue that not only appreciates the interdisciplinarity of the sciences, but also affirms the relevance of broader philosophical and theological concerns.”

The awards are distributed in both teaching and research categories, with Gregory receiving honorable mention for his research. John C. Cavadini, a Notre Dame professor of theology and director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, led a team of four colleagues from Notre Dame that won an award in the teaching category.

Unintended Reformation

The prize-giving ceremony took place on September 24, 2018 in the Casina Pio IV, home of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in the Vatican Gardens. The celebration occurred in conjunction with an international symposium focused on the possibility for dialogue among science, philosophy, and theology in university communities today.

Winners of the Expanded Reason Awards were invited participants during the conference and had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis after the weekly papal audience, on September 26.

“It is a great honor to have my book, The Unintended Reformation, recognized in this way by the Expanded Reason Awards,” Gregory said. “The awards, like NDIAS and Notre Dame as a Catholic research university more broadly, encourage an integral understanding of all knowledge within a vision of reason and academic freedom that is not constrained by metaphysical naturalism.” 

The NDIAS supports research that is directed toward, or extends inquiry to include, ultimate questions and questions of value, bringing together leading thinkers from around the world to live and work at the University as fellows in a residential intellectual community. These cross-disciplinary scholars, scientists, and artists pursue innovative research projects as they engage and contribute to the research of Notre Dame colleagues and students from multiple disciplines, augmenting the life of the mind on campus. 

Originally published at ndias.nd.edu.