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Villanova University to Present Civitas Dei Medal to Scientist-Theologian Celia Deane-Drummond

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Villanova University will award its Civitas Dei Medal to Celia Deane-Drummond, PhD, PhD, of the University of Oxford, at 4 p.m., Monday, April 11. With the Civitas Dei Medal, Villanova honors Catholics who, through their work, have made exemplary contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness.

That the contributions of Deane-Drummond are exceptional is due in no small part to her holding doctorates in two distinct fields: plant physiology and theology. She draws on this wealth of knowledge and wisdom in her current roles as the inaugural director of the Laudato Si’ Research Institute and a senior research fellow in Theology at Campion Hall, University of Oxford. She is also a visiting professor of Theology and Science at Durham University.

Deane-Drummond’s research focuses on the interface between theology—particularly systematic and moral theology—and science, including ecology, anthropology, evolution, animal studies, psychology and genetics. Issues related to bioethics, environmental ethics, genetics, animal ethics, global development and transhumanism especially fascinate her.

Deane-Drummond has shared her gifts on the global stage for decades. She was instrumental in the foundation of and was then chair of the European Forum for the Study of Religion and the Environment from 2011 to 2018, and is on the executive committee and a trustee of the International Society for Science and Religion, to name but a few of her services. She also is an inaugural co-editor of the international journal Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought, published by Villanova.

A prolific researcher and scholar, Deane-Drummond has written, edited and contributed to hundreds of publications. Recent book titles include Shadow Sophia (2021); Theology and Evolutionary Anthropology (2020); Theological Ethics Through a Multispecies Lens (2019); and Theology and Ecology Across the Disciplines (2018).

The Civitas Dei Medal takes its name from the Latin title of St. Augustine’s City of God. In this seminal work, Augustine encouraged intellectual engagement between the Church and the world. With her ability to blend secular and theological thought and imagine possibilities for a better world, Deane-Drummond personifies the ideal citizen envisioned in Augustine’s masterpiece.

View the list of previous Civitas Dei Medal recipients.