Monsignor Tomáš Halík
Czech Roman Catholic priest and laureate of the 2014 Templeton Prize
Monsignor Tomáš Halik is a Czech public intellectual, Roman Catholic priest, and scholar and the laureate of the 2014 Templeton Prize. He graduated in Sociology, Philosophy, and Psychology from the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University, Prague, Charles University (Ph.D. 1972). He studied theology clandestinely in Prague and after 1989 undertook a course of post-graduate study at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and at the Pontifical Theological Faculty in Wroclaw (ThDr. hab.). During the Communist period, he was banned from university teaching and persecuted by the secret police as "an enemy of the regime." He worked as a psychotherapist for drug addicts. Monsignor Halík, clandestinely ordained priest in Erfurt in 1978, worked in the “underground Church,” where he was one of Cardinal Tomášek's closest associates. He closely cooperated with the future president, Václav Havel, and after 1989, he became one of his advisors. After the fall of Communism, he served as general secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops from 1990 to 1993. Currently, he is a professor of Sociology at Charles University in Prague, pastor of the Academic Parish, and president of the Czech Christian Academy (since 1990). Since 1989, he has lectured at a number of universities and international scientific conferences in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, Canada, and Southern Africa; he was also a visiting professor at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and Harvard University. His books have been published in 11 languages. He received several prizes for his work in literature, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and human rights and spiritual freedom, including the Cardinal König Prize in 2003 and the Romano Guardini Prize in 2010. His book Patience with God received the prize for the best European Theological Book of 2009 and 2010. In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him advisor to the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers, and in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI granted him the title of Monsignor Honorary Prelate of His Holiness.