Longtime WTU Faculty Member Receives John Courtney Murray Award

HNP Communications Around the Province

WASHINGTON — Fr. James Coriden, canon lawyer and a professor at Washington Theological Union, received the 2011 Catholic Theology Society of America’s John Courtney Murray Award, the highest honor bestowed by the society on a theologian, this weekend. 

The award, named after the American theologian known for his work on religious liberty, was presented to Fr. Coriden at the CTSA banquet on June 11 in California.

Fr. Coriden, ordained a priest for the Diocese of Gary, Ind., in 1957, joined the WTU faculty, where he currently teaches canon law, in 1975. He served as dean of the school for more than 20 years. He is well-known to more than 35 classes of friars who had him as a professor, said Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM. Prior to joining the WTU, he served on the tribunal and in the chancery in Gary and then taught canon law at The Catholic University of America.

At an informal gathering following the award ceremony in San Jose, Fr. Coriden was greeted with a rousing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” according to an article in the National Catholic Reporter, which lists the 39 previous recipients of the award.

Fr. Coriden, who has published many articles in various journals, including Jurist, Studia Canonica, Theological Studies and New Theology Review, is the author of several books on canon law, church history and parish life. His latest book, “The Rights of Catholics in the Church,” published in 2007, attempts to lay out for Catholics their basic rights in the church, according to the NCR article.

The WTU posted an announcement about Fr. Coriden on its Facebook page.