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Villanova Presents Mary Ann Glendon, J.D., LL.M. with Civitas Dei Medal for Exemplary Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Glendon is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican; former President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences; member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; and an accomplished author 

Mary Ann Glendon, J.D., LL.M.

VILLANOVA, Pa. – In his seminal work, City of God (De Civitate Dei), St. Augustine articulates a distinctive commitment to intellectual engagement between the Church and the world. He created communities focused on the search for truth in unity and love, while respecting differences and the complexities of Catholic intellectual thought. With the Civitas Dei Medal, Villanova University 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.

Villanova’s third annual Civitas Dei Medal will be presented to Mary Ann Glendon, J.D., LL.M. at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 5 in the Driscoll Hall Auditorium on the University’s Main Campus.    

“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.”

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 is a member of 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 a 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.

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.