In case you missed it, Daniel and Sidney Callahan were honored last week at America House with the first Matteo Ricci, S.J., Award:
The editors of America are pleased to honor Daniel Callahan and Sidney de Shazo Callahan with the Matteo Ricci, S.J., Award for their distinguished contribution to culture. They have contributed to the world of ideas, to letters, bioethics, moral philosophy and theology, psychology, spirituality and journalism. For a half-century they have lived a creative partnership rich in ideas and in values. Through their writing, research and lectures, they have taught both church and society how to think deeply about public problems, to explore our humanity and cultivate its deepest gifts in a potentially disorienting time of technological change. They have gathered round them in conversation circles of scholars and friends who with them cultivate the high form of friendship in which ideas and values are exchanged for the sake of the common good.
Their gift for civic friendship is one they share with Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), the Italian Jesuit polymath after whom this award is named. His most famous essay, “On Friendship,” is still regarded today as a classic of Chinese culture. Ricci and his companions bridged European and Chinese culture in a way no one has since. They shared with China the advances of Western science. They taught astronomy to mandarins, and Ricci himself designed an enormous map of the world that recorded the most recent geographic knowledge of the day. They also employed painting and music to communicate the Gospel to their friends. At the same time, they explained China’s Confucian culture to Christian Europeans, helping both to find commonality in difference. Ricci, his companions and successors were pioneers of a global culture.
In creating this award, the editors have been mindful of the standard Ricci set for multi-disciplinary learning with broad cultural influence. Daniel and Sidney Callahan have demonstrated equal breadth of learning and a passion for stirring dialogue over the issues of the day. The passions of their minds have inspired men and women to undertake research, join conversations and build communities of ideas where the future of our society and of our world continue to be debated. For the ways in which they have made the world of the mind live in the global public square, we are most pleased to present the 2011 Ricci Award for contributions to world culture to Daniel and Sidney Callahan.
You can read a selection of Dan and Sidney's contributions to Americahere.