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Professor Tracey Rowland appointed to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

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Professor Rowland with the Holy Father in 2021. Professor Rowland is Australia’s leading theologian, and is pictured here receiving the Ratzinger Prize for her contributions to theology. Photo: CNS, Vatican Media

University of Notre Dame Australia research academic Professor Tracey Rowland has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), becoming the second Australian ever to receive the honour.

The 10-year appointment to the prestigious international research academy is a recognition of Professor Rowland’s outstanding contribution to research and will allow her to collaborate with some of the world’s leading Catholic scholars in Europe.

As a leading scholar in theology and social theory, Professor Rowland’s appointment to the PASS is not only a great achievement for her personally, but also for Notre Dame, which is renowned for its high-quality research.

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“It’s a recognition of the quality of the research that is undertaken at Notre Dame and especially its value to the Catholic community,” Professor Rowland said.

She expressed her delight at the news, saying the appointment would allow her to do more interdisciplinary work and return to some of her earliest academic interests.

“It’s an opportunity to collaborate with some of the greatest Catholic scholars in Europe,” she said.

“I already do a lot of work with American Catholic scholars and people from Latin America, but this appointment with help me get to know the Europeans better.”

The appointment will also help ensure Australian academics are not isolated from the wider Catholic world, according to Professor Rowland.

“Australian academics need to travel internationally if they are not to become cut off from what’s happening in universities in Europe and other parts of the Anglosphere,” she said.

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is an internationally renowned research academy established by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

Its mission is to promote the study of social sciences—primarily economics, sociology, law and political science—in the light of Catholic social doctrine.

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