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Reinhold Niebuhr Award

2009 Recipient: Paul Lederach

The Reinhold Niebuhr Award honors a person whose life and writings promote or exemplify the area of social justice.

This year’s recipient has spent his life advancing the cause of peace. From Nicaragua to Nepal, the Philippines to Colombia, he has served as mediator, strategist, and catalyst for peacebuilding. As the leading theorist of the concept of conflict transformation, he advises governments, religious organizations, universities, and community groups striving to reconcile societies torn apart by violence.

As a practitioner of peace, he accompanies the poor, the refugees, and the victims of war—eliciting from them alternatives to violence. His wide-ranging experiences, profound analyses, and deep moral imagination have formed the basis for a corpus of writing that has enlightened peace studies scholars and peacebuilders around the globe. He is, in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, ‘an instrument of peace.’

We are proud to present the Reinhold Nieburhr Award to

John Paul Lederach
Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

* * * * *

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., and Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany were the first recipients of Reinhold Niebuhr awards sponsored by friends of the Protestant theologian and author. Receiving this award in September 1972, at ceremonies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Father Hesburgh announced the establishment of a Reinhold Niebuhr Award at the University of Notre Dame. This award is made annually to a student, faculty member, or administrator whose life and writings promote or exemplify the area of social justice in modern life.

The initial award to Father Hesburgh was $5,000. This he turned over to the Notre Dame endowment to underwrite an annual cash award of $250 for the winner of this campus honor. The selection committee includes representatives from the colleges and the Law School, Campus Ministry, Center for Social Concerns, rectors, Ladies of Notre Dame, and the student body.

Past Recipients

1973 Msgr. John J. Egan
1974 CILA (Community for the International Lay Apostolate)
1975 George N. Shuster
1976 Rev. Louis Putz, C.S.C.
1977 Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Quigley
1978 Thomas F. Broden
1979 Rev. William Toohey, C.S.C.
1980 Rev. Don McNeill, C.S.C.
1981 Charles K. Wilber
1982 Kenneth and Penny Jameson
1983 Julian Peasants
1984 John W. Houck and
Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C.
1985 James Sterba
1986 John H. Yoder
1987 Stephen Worland
1988 Denis Goulet
1989 Sharon Lynn O’Brien
1990 John J. Gilligan
1991 Thomas and Nancy Shaffer
1992 Patrick E. Murphy
1993 John Borkowski
1994 Bernard Doering
1995 Rev. Richard McCormick, S.J.
1996 Rev. William M. Lewers, C.S.C.
1997 Rev. Joseph D. Ross, C.S.C.
1998 Lee Tavis
1999 Robert E. and Jeanne Rodes
2000 Kathleen Maas Weigert
2001 R. Scott Appleby
Dinah Shelton
2002 Rev. Patrick D. Gaffney, C.S.C.
2003 George Lopez
2004 Teresa Ghilarducci
2005 Rev. Gustavo A. Gutiérrez, OP
2006 Todd Whitmore
2007 Georges Enderle
2008 F. Clark Power