Manuel Braga da Cruz: Tree of Life Award is “proof of generosity”

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 13:22

Manuel Braga da Cruz, former Rector of the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP), was awarded the Tree of Life Prize - Father Manuel Antunes, for 2022, announced the National Secretariat for the Pastoral of Culture. The prize will be handed over on March 8, at 6 pm, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon.

“I received the news of the awarding of the P. Manuel Antunes Prize with surprise and some incredulity. I can't help but thank you for such proof of generosity. The decision to award a social scientist certainly represents the recognition of the cultural dimension of the social, of Social Sciences such as Sciences of the Spirit or Sciences of Culture, in whose research faith plays a role in illuminating reality,” said Manuel Braga da Cross.

The Prize highlights annually, since 2005, "the excellence of personalities, paths and works that reflect humanism and the Christian experience in the contemporary world", reveals that Secretariat.

"With structured thinking since his initial training in Philosophy, Manuel Braga da Cruz has combined in an exemplary way the freedom of spirit with the coherence of principles in his university career as a brilliant researcher and professor (from the Institute of Social Sciences to the Catholic University of Portugal, from who was Rector between 2000 and 2012)", refers to the summary justification of the jurors.

The jury took into account "the excellent work of research and reflection carried out (...) in the related areas of Sociology and Political Science, as well as in the studies of History", in particular "on the antecedents and future of the Estado Novo and the relations between Church and State in this period".

  The statement points to the “high qualities” of the “remarkable intellectual path” and the “convincing testimony of Christian humanism” of Manuel António Garcia Braga da Cruz, born in 1946 in Tadim, Braga.

Qualities that are evident either “in the constant intervention in the public space as a lecturer and reference columnist”, or in his various works, such as “Raízes do Presente e Retratos Contemporâneos”, “Sociological Theories”, “Political Institutions and Social Processes”, “ Comparative Politics”, “Electoral Systems – the scientific debate”, “Historical Transitions and Political Reforms in Portugal”, “Globalisation, Portugal and Europe”, “The Portuguese Political System”, “Catholics, Society and the State, “Monarchists and Republicans in the Estado Novo” and “The Estado Novo and the Catholic Church”.

The jury, which deliberated unanimously on November 4, was chaired by D. João Lavrador and made up of Charlemagne, Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, José Carlos Seabra Pereira, Fr. José Frazão Correia, SJ and Maria Teresa Dias Furtado.