Georgetown professor receives CTSA’s John Courtney Murray Award for excellence

Father Peter Phan (CNS/Rick DelVecchio, Catholic San Francisco)

Father Peter Phan, professor of Catholic social thought at Georgetown University, received the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America during the organization’s annual convention in Cleveland June 12.

The award is CTSA’s highest honor.

A native of Vietnam who emigrated as a refugee to the United States in 1975, Father Phan, is widely recognized in theological circles for contributions in a wide range of systematic theology topics including ecclesiology, Christology, the Trinity, race, eschatology, liberation theology, popular religion and piety, ecumenism and Catholic social thought.

As the award was announced during the society’s annual banquet, Father Phan was recognized for his breadth of expertise in systematic theology as well has for his original contributions in Catholic theology.

In addition, his record includes 12 monographs, 11 edited works, 35 encyclopedia entries, 62 book chapters, 93 referred articles, 104 book reviews and numerous articles for publications such as America, Commonweal and U.S. Catholic.

Father Phan’s career has included stops at the University of Dallas and The Catholic University of America before his arrival at Georgetown. Formerly a Salesian, he is a priest in the Diocese of Dallas.

It should be noted that the 67-year-old priest’s career is not without controversy. His 2004 book on religious pluralism, “Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue,” was found to contain “pervading ambiguities and equivocations that could easily confuse or mislead the faithful,” by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.

The December 2007 decision by the bishops’ committee followed an evaluation of the book at the request of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. When asked to respond to concerns raised by the congregation and the bishops, Father Phan declined.

Quoting frequently from the book, the documents of the Second Vatican Council and “Dominus Iesus,” the 2000 declaration of the Vatican doctrinal congregation on the “unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the church,” the committee said Father Phan’s book “could leave readers in considerable confusion as to the proper understanding of the uniqueness of Christ.”

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2 Responses to Georgetown professor receives CTSA’s John Courtney Murray Award for excellence

  1. Nancy D. says:

    John Courtney Murray, having understood that authentic Love, which is not possessive nor coercive, requires Religious Liberty and that Love is a Gift given freely from the Heart, would not have believed in a blending of religious faiths thus compromising The Truth and resulting in idoltary. In order to understand why even the idea of a “Buddhist Catholic” as suggested in the writings of Father Phan, is idoltary, one must begin with an understanding of the inherent, ordered, complementary nature of the relationship of Love between the Father and The Son in ONE Spirit of Love as affirmed by the Filioque. Only in a complementary relationship of Love can two become ONE spirit, which is why we worship The Blessed Trinity and not the blessed quadinity.

  2. Anna says:

    For accurate teachings of the Church on Faith and Morals, the authentic reference text is the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, SECOND EDITION” revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II, and first printed in the US in March 2000.
    Some Catholic Universities and some Catholic Theologians purposely ignore the CCC, since it does not suit their politicial agenda.

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