Villanova University Recognizes the Rev. David Hollenbach, SJ, with the Civitas Dei Medal for Exemplary Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Tradition

The Rev. David Hollenbach, SJ

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has honored the Rev. David Hollenbach, SJ, with its fourth annual Civitas Dei Medal—an award that 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. Father Hollenbach is University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice, and director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College.

The Civitas Dei Medal is named for the seminal work of St. Augustine, City of God (De Civitate Dei), in which he articulates a distinctive commitment to intellectual engagement between the Church and the world. Augustine created communities focused on the search for truth in unity and love, while respecting differences and the complexities of Catholic intellectual thought. The medal was authorized by Villanova University’s Board of Trustees in 2011 at the request of the Office for Mission and Ministry. It is presented each year by the president of the University at a public ceremony, followed by a lecture and reception.

Villanova will present its fourth annual Civitas Dei Medal at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium on the University’s Main Campus. Father Hollenbach’s Civitas Dei lecture is titled “Humanity in Crisis: The Rights of People Displaced by War.”

“The scope of the Catholic intellectual tradition stretches over two millennia, and extends beyond theological and philosophical traditions to include literary writings, art, design and scientific contributions,” said Barbara Wall, PhD, vice president for Mission and Ministry at Villanova University, upon Villanova’s inauguration of the Civitas Dei Medal in 2012. “With the Civitas Dei Medal, Villanova University honors this tradition and those who have made significant contributions to it, and seeks to inspire others to continue the enrichment of the Catholic intellectual tradition.”

This fall, Father Hollenbach holds the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center. His research at the Library deals with his current book project, tentatively titled Humanity in Crisis: Religious and Ethical Responses to War and Disaster. The book will explore the role of faith-based communities in responding to humanitarian crises. Father Hollenbach—in addition to his role at Boston College—often teaches at Hekima College of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, and has been visiting professor at the Jesuit Philosophy Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila, Philippines. Additionally, he serves as a consultant to the Jesuit Refugee Service concerning its work on advocacy on behalf of the human rights of displaced persons.

Father Hollenbach serves as president-elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) and will become president in June 2016. He served on CTSA’s board of directors from 1982 to 1984 and, in 1998, received the organization’s John Courtney Murray Award for outstanding contributions to theology. In addition to his work with CTSA, Father Hollenbach served as president of the Society of Christian Ethics (1995-96), and he assisted the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in drafting its 1986 pastoral letter, Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.

For more information on the Civitas Dei Medal, click here.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.