Tomáš Halík awarded honorary doctorate at the Oxford University

23. 06. 2016
A solemn ceremony was held yesterday, during which the Oxford University conferred honorary degrees on nine distinguished figures, among them Czech theologian and philosopher Tomáš Halík. He is the fourth Czech awarded at Oxford with the honorary doctorate.

The ceremony called Encaenia has a long tradition at the Oxford University and is held annually.

Tomáš Halík was awarded for his efforts, appreciated by the Templeton Prize in 2014 as well, in the interreligious dialogue.

“These awards refer to the international intellectual scene, and I would like to focus my activities in this direction more in the future,” Halík said to the press office of the Czech Bishops’ Conference shortly after his nomination had been published.

Among other people awarded with the Oxford honorary degree yesterday, there are the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, the winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science Professor Paul Krugman, the Japanese architect Professor Kazuyo Sejima, the Apple’s chief designer Sir Jonathan Ive, or the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

Before Halík, only three Czechs were awarded with the Oxford honorary doctorate, all of them were the country’s presidents: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1927), Edvard Beneš (March 1940) and Václav Havel (October 1998).

Few days ago (June 16), Tomáš Halík opened his Center for the Study of Political Philosophy, Ethics and Religion; the center would work at the Prague Faculty of Philosophy and in the cooperation with the Oxford University or the University of Notre Dame. It will focus its research on aspects of the public life and questions concerning the roles of religion in the current society.

Author: Jiří Gračka