Updated. An Anglican has won the Ratzinger Prize in Theology. Richard Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and author of the acclaimed “What Are the Gospels?” Pope Francis awarded him the prize on October 26 in Rome.
Burridge was awarded the prize along with a Catholic theologian.? The Joseph Ratzinger prize was founded by former students of the former Pontiff “for the purpose of scholarly research and study and has been awarded each year since 2011.
At the conclusion of an international symposium in Rome, Pope Francis granted the prestigious “Joseph Ratzinger Award” to two professors for their exemplary scholarship in theology.
The 2013 winners were the Anglican canon professor Rev. Richard Burridge, dean of Kings College, London, and Catholic professor of theology Christian Schaller, vice director of the Pope Benedict XVI institute of Regensburg, Germany.
Burridge received the honour for his contribution to the historical and theological recognition of the Gospels’ inseparable connection to Jesus of Nazareth.In sharing his reaction to receiving the prize with Vatican Radio’s Lydia O’Kane, Burridge explained he was already expecting to be in Rome for another conference when he received the news.
“We got a letter – actually on my birthday in June – from the Apostolic Nuncio, asking me if I would accept the honour. Everybody thought that this was a practical joke from the students, but it was such a joy to discover that, a real surprise, and a terrific honour,” he said.As the first non-Catholic to receive the award, he said that his receiving the award “says something about the importance of what has been happening over the last two or three decades, not just in Anglican and Roman Catholic dialogue, but internationally in Biblical studies, as we have been working more and more closely together.”
The recipients of this year’s Ratzinger Prize are the English Biblical scholar Richard A. Burridge, dean of King’s College London and minister in the Anglican Communion—the first non-Catholic to receive the award—and the German lay theologian Christian Schaller, professor of Dogmatic Theology and deputy director of the Pope Benedict XVI Institute of Regensburg, Germany, which is publishing the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger. “Richard Burridge today,” said Cardinal Ruini, “is definitely an eminent figure in the field of Biblical studies and not only of the English language. In particular, he has made a great contribution in that decisive area of the historical and theological recognition of the Gospels’ inseparable connection to Jesus of Nazareth.” Christian Schaller will also be awarded the Ratzinger Prize, “not only for his contribution to theological studies but also in recognition of the role he is carrying out in the publication of Joseph Ratzinger’s complete works. This publication is of primary importance for the future of studies inspired by the thought of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, which is the main purpose of our Foundation.