On 8 March 2016, the Oxford University officially approved that ten candidates shall receive the highest academic award: honorary doctorate. The nominations were published two weeks ago. One of the recipients is going to be the Czech theologian and philosopher Tomáš Halík. Before him, only three Czech citizens received the honorary doctorate from Oxford: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1927), Edvard Beneš (1940), and Václav Havel (1998).
The festive ceremony shall be held in Oxford on 22 June 2016. Other recipients include Professor Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics; Lord Mance, Judge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the famous Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima; the chief designer at Apple Jonathan Ive; and the Finnish composer Arvo Pärt.
Tomáš Halík lectured at Oxford University as visiting professor in 2001. In 2014, one of the university lecture halls was named after him and the room was decorated with his portrait.
Since 1989, Tomáš Halík has lectured at universities in many European countries, in USA, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Africa. His books have been published in 18 languages including Chinese. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Romano Guardini Award, the Cardinal König Award, and also the Templeton Prize (2014). In 1990, Pope John Paul II appointed him adviser of the Papal council for dialogue with non-believers.
Last year, he was elected Vice President of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. The Council has its main seat in Washington DC, yet is active all over the world. On 15 – 17 November 2015, the University of Notre Dame in USA held a Templeton conference about Professor Halík’s contribution to contemporary philosophy of religion.
Tomáš Halík focuses on the role of religion in contemporary world, interreligious dialogue, and the dialogue between the believers and non-believers. He is Professor of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, parish priest of the Academic Parish in Prague, and president of the Czech Christian Academy. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.