Drs. Thiel and Lakeland receive national Catholic Press book awards

Drs. Thiel and Lakeland receive national Catholic Press book awards

Fairfield University professors and noted Catholic theologians Drs. John Thiel and Paul Lakeland have each received 2014 Book Awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.

Dr. Thiel, professor of religious studies, received first place honors in the Theology category for his latest book, Icons of Hope: The ‘Last Things’ in Catholic Imagination (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013). In the book, Dr. Thiel argues that modern theologians have been too reticent in their writing about “last things” — death, judgment, heaven, and hell. He believes modern theology’s religious pluralism leaves room for a speculative style of interpretation, allowing for theological portraits of resurrected life that can be true to the claims of faith and inspire Christian practice.

Finally, the book argues for a way of re-imagining the traditional, and rather static, conception of heavenly life.

Dr. Lakeland, director of the Center for Catholic Studies and the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., Professor of Catholic Studies, received second place honors in the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II category for his most recent book, A Council That Will Never End: Lumen Gentium and the Church Today (Liturgical Press, 2013). In a review of the book, Gerard Mannion, Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies, Georgetown University, wrote: “Paul Lakeland has produced another groundbreaking study which will inspire and energize so many throughout the church and academy alike.”

The work concerns Lumen Gentium, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, and how it changed how the church thinks about the laity, holiness, baptism, and even the nature and purpose of the church itself.