On 28 October 2023, the anniversary of the founding of independent Czechoslovakia, the President of the Czech Republic awarded an academic from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at CU FA with one of the highest orders in the Czech Republic. He was awarded for his outstanding contribution to the development of democracy, humanity, and human rights.
Prof Tomáš Halík is a professor of sociology at CU FA where he lectures on the postmodern philosophy of religion and supervises several dissertations. He is also the Rector of the academic parish of the St Salvator Church in Prague and the President of the Czech Christian Academy.
His main areas of expertise are philosophy, psychology and sociology of religion, the history of mysticism, the relationship between religion and culture, and the role of religion in modern society. He has participated in doctoral and habilitation proceedings at other universities. He was the initiator of the international research project Aufbruch, which focuses on religiosity and the role of churches in post-communist societies. He has participated in several other Czech and international research projects.
He has published over 200 works – books, teaching materials, professional and popular articles in the Czech Republic and abroad. His books of theological essays have been translated into two dozen languages – including Chinese, Korean, and Turkish. They were published by prestigious international publishers and have won numerous international awards. His book, Patience with God, won the European Society for Catholic Theology’s 2009–10 Best Theological Book of Europe. His books have been Book of the Month in the USA and several times in Germany.
In 2018, on his seventieth birthday and the publication of his autobiographical book To že byl život?,he received the Gold Commemorative Medal of Charles University from the Rector of Charles University. This publication, translated into English as From the Underground Church to Freedom, was awarded the best book on religion published in the US in 2019. In addition, several prestigious foreign universities have also awarded him honorary doctorates, including the Universität Erfurt in 2014 and the University of Oxford in 2016.
The theological and philosophical contributions of his work have been the subject of licentiate and doctoral theses at several universities. He is an editorial board member of Czech and international journals. He is also a member of the Swiss Psychotherapy Society, the Daseinsalytische Gesellschaft, the European Society for Catholic Theology, the Washington-based Society for the Sciences and Arts, and the International Society for the Psychology of Religion.