February 24, 2012
Theology professor receives national book award
Award recognizes contribution to the knowledge of Catholic history
MILWAUKEE - Dr. Ulrich Lehner
, author and assistant professor of theology at Marquette University, has been awarded the John Gilmary Shea Prize by the American Catholic Historical Association
for his recent book, Enlightened Monks: The German Benedictines (1740-1803)
(Oxford University Press: 2011).
The John Gilmary Shea Prize is awarded annually to a published book that has made the most significant and unprecedented contribution to the knowledge of Catholic history, as decided by the ACHA. This year’s committee of judges recognized Lehner’s work for demonstrating that “the Enlightenment was far more than a secular movement pitted against an obscurantist religious outlook. It was, rather, a multi-faceted trend to reconcile science and reason with matters of faith. Enlightened Monks illustrates how, paradoxically, an institution known to most as a relic of the medieval past actually stood on the front lines of this endeavor.”Enlightened Monks
is “engagingly written, deeply researched, and seriously engaged with current research,” said Katherine L. Jansen, chair of the John Gilmary Shea Prize and associate history professor at the Catholic University of America, in the award announcement
“We are very happy for Dr. Lehner, who is most deserving of this award,” said Dr. Susan Wood, chair and professor of Marquette’s Department of Theology. “His distinguished research profile is an asset to the department and to the graduate students who are able to study with him.”
Lehner specializes in the study of religious history and historical theology from the 16th to early 19th century, specifically the history of scriptural interpretation, monasticism, mysticism and spirituality. In January of 2009 Lehner was awarded a fellowship to the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, where he was a member of the institute’s School of Historical Studies and first began research for Enlightened Monks
. Lehner was the first Marquette professor since 1975, and one of few church historians, to ever receive the prestigious Princeton fellowship. In 2010, he was an inaugural fellow at the Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study.