Gustavo Gutiérrez, founder of liberation theology, winner of 2014 Gittler Prize

Priest and professor authored one of the most influential theological works of 20th century

courtesy/University of Notre Dame

The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez is the 2014 winner of the Gittler Prize

The Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez has been named the 2014 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize.
Gutiérrez, a Roman Catholic priest of the Dominican Order, is a founder of Liberation Theology, which combines theology with social activism. His 1971 book "A Theology of Liberation" advocated for supporting the poor in protests against poverty and in attempts to be liberated from exploitation. 
The book and his subsequent work have had a significant impact on Catholic theology in Latin America, and it is considered one of the most influential theological works on the 20th century.
"Gustavo Gutiérrez has dedicated his life to advocating for the poor in Latin America and worked tirelessly to establish a place for social justice within his faith," Brandeis President Frederick M. Lawrence said. "He is an excellent example of what the Gittler Prize represents."
The annual prize, which includes $25,000 and a medal, is presented to a person whose body of published work reflects scholarly excellence and makes a lasting contribution to racial, ethnic or religious relations.
A native of Peru, Gutiérrez studied medicine at the National University of Peru before beginning his studies in theology. He studied philosophy and psychology at Leuven in Belgium and was ordained a priest in 1959. He received his doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Lyon in 1985.
He attended the Conference of Latin American Bishops in 1968 and wrote a paper in 1969 that laid the groundwork for "A Theology of Liberation." He has gone on to publish more than a dozen books on the subject and taught at universities around the world.
Gutiérrez is the John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He was previously a professor at the Pontifical University of Peru, and has served as a visiting professor at many universities in North America and Europe. Gutiérrez holds nearly 20 honorary degrees and founded the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute in Lima, Peru. He was made a member the French Legion of Honor in 1993 for his work for human dignity in Latin America.
The Gittler Prize was established in 2007 with funds from the estate of Joseph Gittler, a sociology scholar, and is named after Gittler and his mother, Toby. It is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President, with President Lawrence serving as the chairman of the selection committee. Gutiérrez is the sixth winner of the prize.
The prize will be formally presented to Gutiérrez in a ceremony and talk on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Goldfarb Library. The Gittler lecture is free and open to the public. For more information contact

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