Villanova University Presents Mary Ann Glendon with Civitas Dei Medal for Exemplary Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Mary Ann Glendon

Villanova University’s third annual Civitas Dei Medal will be presented to Mary Ann Glendon on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:30 PM in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium. The award 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.  

“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.”

Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University and former President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. She is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and currently serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. She writes and teaches in the fields of human rights, comparative law, constitutional law and political theory.

Glendon is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Comparative Law, and a past president of the UNESCO-sponsored International Association of Legal Science. She served two terms as a member of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics (2001-2004), and has represented the Holy See at various conferences including the 1995 U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing, where she headed the Vatican delegation.

Glendon has contributed to legal and social thought in several widely translated works, bringing a comparative approach to a variety of subjects. Among her publications are 16 books and over 140 articles. They include The Forum and the Tower (2011), a series of biographical essays exploring the relation between political philosophy and politics-in-action; Traditions in Turmoil (2006), a collection of essays on law, culture and human rights; A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2001), which the New York Times reviewer said should be the definitive study of the framing of the UDHR; A Nation Under Lawyers (1996), a portrait of turbulence in the legal profession, analyzing the implications of changes in legal culture for a democratic polity that entrusts crucial roles to legally trained men and women; Rights Talk (1991), a critique of the impoverishment of political discourse; The Transformation of Family Law (1989), winner of the legal academy’s highest honor, the Order of the Coif Book Award; Abortion and Divorce in Western Law (1987), winner of the Scribes Book Award for best writing on a legal subject; The New Family and the New Property (1981), and textbooks on comparative legal traditions.

Fr. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD will confer the award and Professor Glendon will present a public lecture entitled, “Religious Freedom in a Secular Age.”