Curran elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Charles CurranCharles Curran, SMU’s Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, is among 229 leaders in the sciences, the humanities and arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy announced April 19, 2010.

The new Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members join one of the world’s most prestigious honorary societies. A center for independent policy research, the Academy celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.

The new class will be inducted in an Oct. 9 ceremony at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Curran’s fellow inductees will include journalist Christiane Amanpour, director Francis Ford Coppola, dancer Suzanne Farrell, actors John Lithgow and Denzel Washington, Microsoft software architect Ray Ozzie, and jazz musician Sonny Rollins.

Curran joined SMU in 1991 and is a moral theologian and ethicist revered on campus for his scholarly reputation. He is considered by fellow theologians to be one of the greatest moral theologians of the 20th century.

“Curran is certainly one of the leading teachers and scholars in Christian ethics in North America,” says Robin Lovin, the Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics and former dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. “Through his many books and his work as a teacher, he has made a whole generation of Protestants more aware of Catholic moral traditions, and he has introduced Catholic scholars to a more ecumenical approach.”

He has served as president of three national academic associations: The American Theological Society, Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics. He also has been named The New York Times Man in the News and ABC TV Person of the Week. He has authored and edited more than 50 books in the area of moral theology.

'Catholic Moral Theology in America' book coverCurran’s research and teaching interests include fundamental moral theology, social ethics, the role of the Church as a moral and political actor in society and Catholic moral theology. His latest book, Catholic Moral Theology in the United States: A History, won the 2008 American Publisher’s Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Theology and Religion. Other publications include Loyal Dissent: Memoir of a Catholic Theologian (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2006); The Moral Theology of Pope John Paul II (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005); and Catholic Social Teaching 1891-Present: A Historical, Theological, and Ethical Analysis (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2002).

The newest members of the Academy include scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders who have won of the Nobel, Pulitzer, and Shaw Prizes; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows; and Grammy, Tony, and Oscar Award winners. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. A complete list of the 2010 class of new members is located at the Academy’s website (PDF format).

Established in 1780 by John Adams and other founders of the nation, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Its membership of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines and professions gives it a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research. Current projects focus on science and technology; global security; social policy and American institutions; the humanities and culture; and education.

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