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Ratzinger Prize awarded to Lebanese and Brazilian Professors

Vatican City, Brussels, November 18th, 2015 (Vatican Radio/SIGNIS/PCCS). Two eminent theologians from Lebanon and Brazil have been awarded the Ratzinger Prize 2015, the Vatican announced on Monday. The winners of the prize, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize in Theology’, were chosen by the Benedict XVI Foundation, which aims to promote theology in the spirit of Joseph Ratzinger.

Professor Nabil el-Khoury, aged 74, is a professor of philosophy and literature. He received a doctorate on Saint Ephrem the Syrian from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in Germany in 1973. Later he taught at the Lebanese University in Beirut and translated the entire works of Joseph Ratzinger (from before and after his election as Pope) into Arabic. He speaks several languages including Arabic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

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Professor Mario de Franca Miranda, SJ, and Professor Nabil el-Khoury

The second recipient is the 79 year old Jesuit Professor Mario de França Miranda, who received a doctorate in Theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University in 1974 and went on to teach in a number of Institutes including the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the Jesuit Faculty of Theology in Belo Horizonte. Beyond classical areas of study in Dogmatic Theology (such as Theology of Grace and Trinitarian Theology), he has focused on more modern theological questions such as the enculturation of faith and the Theology of Religion. He was a member of the International Theological Commission for two five year terms while Cardinal Ratzinger was the President, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He has authored fourteen books and contributed to another thirty one volumes, as well as a number of articles in theological journals.

Announcing the winners in the Vatican press office, the President of the Foundation, Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti, quoted Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, stressing that the university is a privileged place in which to “articulate and develop” the commitment to evangelization in an integrated and interdisciplinary way.


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