Professor Neil Ormerod wins staff award

Published: Tuesday 30th August 2016

Professor Neil Ormerod has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award in Research Excellence for his substantial and long-term contribution to a renewal of Catholic systematic theology.

Through a significant output of academic articles and books, with a focus on the Trinity, the Church and natural theology, Professor Ormerod’s research has contributed significantly to the University's recent stunning Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) outcome. Given his international profile, Professor Ormerod’s research helps identify ACU as a "leading Catholic institution" both in Australia and across the world.

“Generally theological research does not expect to have a significant societal, environmental or economic impact, however in one area, my research into the doctrine of God and natural theology has had a major impact,” he said. “My motivation was in part to counter the narrative of the so-called new atheists that belief in God has been rendered incompatible with modern science. “

His success in this regard was demonstrated by an email he received from a colleague who had used Ormerod’s book A Public God with his students. The colleague reported how this work had a positive impact on a student who was struggling with her faith. “This is the type of impact which any theologian would value more than any societal, environmental or economic impact.”

Professor Ormerod has contributed to the enhancement of the School of Theology’s research performance, which aligns with ACU’s research intensification strategy. He has at the same time contributed substantially to the research culture in the Faculty by attracting a good number of Higher Degree Research (HDR) students, many of whom have gone on to significant roles in the Church.

“Inspired by the work of Catholic theologian Bernard Lonergan (1904–84), and eminent Lonergan scholar Robert Doran (Emmett Doerr Chair in Catholic Systematic Theology, Marquette University), I have produced a number of books and research articles in top international journals that map out new directions in theology, congruent with Lonergan's theological method and his ground breaking work on the Trinity,” he said. “Lonergan developed what I believe to be the most significant advance in Trinitarian systematic theology since Thomas Aquinas.”

“As the titles on some of my books indicate (Re-Visioning the Church: An Experiment in Systematic-Historical Ecclesiology; A Public God: Natural Theology Reconsidered; Foundational Theology: A New Approach to Catholic Fundamental Theology) my work is aimed to reshape the contemporary theological agenda in various areas. These books are backed up with significant research articles published in Theological Studies and Irish Theological Quarterly, and other leading international theological journals.”

The trajectory of this research will lead to further major book projects and research articles to extend the reach of the overall project.

The Vice-Chancellor's Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony will be held at:

The Peter Cosgrove Centre, Tenison Woods House
Level 22, 8-20 Napier St
North Sydney


Monday 5 September 2016
5pm to 7pm

RSVP by email to: / Phone: 02 9465 9068 (please advise any special dietary requirements with your RSVP).