The Catholic Academic Award Committee announced the awardees of the 12th Catholic Academic Award on October 25, 2008.
The awardees are:
Rev. Luke Kim Geon-tae, Dean of the Graduate School of Suwon Catholic University, Rev. Pontianus Yeo Jin-cheon, Rector of the Baeron Shrine in Wonju, and Dr. Cho Hyeon-beom, Researcher of the Research Foundation of Korean Church History.
Rev. Kim won the Main Prize in recognition of his work, The Concept of the Law and Justice by Prophets (2006), in which he analyzed and arranged the teaching of four prophets of the 8th century BC, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah, in terms of the biblical theology. In this book, Rev. Kim analyzed the concepts of law and justice of the prophetic books in both vertical and horizontal ways.
Rev. Yeo won the Research Prize in recognition of his dissertation, A Comparative Study on the Original Version of Hwang Sa-yeong's Baekseo and Its Alternative Versions (2005), in which he comprehensively analyzed many versions of Hwang Sa-Yeong's Baekseo. The Hwang Sa-Yeong's Baekseo is a letter written by Alexius Hwang Sa-Yeong, died a martyr in 1801, to the Most Rev. Alexandre de Gouvea, Bishop of Beijing at that time. In this letter, Mr. Hwang reported the serious situation of the Catholics to the bishop and asked him help from the West. But it was never delivered because of the betrayal of Mr. Ok Cheon-hi, the messenger. As the result of this incident, Mr. Hwang and his fellow faithful were arrested, tortured and executed. Later this letter was translated into French by the Most Rev. Gustave Mutel, the 8th Apostolic Vicar of Corea. under the title lettre d'Alexander Hoang à Mgr. de Gouvea, Evêque de Pekin (Letter of Alexander Hwang to Mgr. Gouvea, Bishop of Beijing) in 1925. Then it was presented to His Holiness Pope Pius XI during the beatification ceremony of the 79 Korean martyrs in the same year.
Dr. Cho also won the Research Prize for his work, Missionaries of Joseon, Joseon of Missionaries (2008), the 7th volume of the Research Series of the Research Foundation of Korean Church History. This book vividly presents the customs and cultures of Joseon in the eyes of the missionaries of the Société des Missions Etrangères de Paris (MEP). They started to practice their missionary works in Korea from 1830.
In his remarks on the choice of the awardee of the Main Prize, the Most Rev. Basil Cho Kyu-man, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul and Member of the Catholic Academic Award Committee, said, "We need all the more help from the biblical scholars, now that the passion for the Bible study is uprising in the Catholic Church in Korea. In such a situation, the work of Rev. Kim will be a great help not only for his fellow scholars, but also for all who want to read and follow the Word of God sincerely."
In his remarks on the choice of the awardees of the Research Prize, the Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, Coadjutor Bishop of Suwon and Member of the Catholic Academic Award Committee, said, "The dissertation of Rev. Yeo helps all Christians to promote their spiritual maturity, in that it shows the future vision of the Catholic Church in Korea and the right attitude of the faithful, as well as the theological interpretation and the meaning of the Baekseo in the history of the Church." Then he said, "The work of Dr. Cho contributes much to the understanding of the inner activity and social situation of the Catholic Church in Korea in the 19th century. Besides, Dr. Cho ascertains the value and meaning of the encounter of Korean society with the Catholic Church, and he also contributes to the correct understanding of the adoption and adaptation of the modern civilization in Korean society before its official opening to the West."