This is coming a little late but better late than never.
This year's winner of the American Catholic Philosophical Association's Young Scholar's award is Brandon Wanless. The award is given to the best paper submitted for the ACPA's annual conference by a scholar 35 years old or younger.
Mr. Wanless's paper is entitled “St. Thomas Aquinas on Original Justice and the Justice of Christ: A Case Study in Christological Soteriology and Catholic Moral Theology.” Here's the abstract from the ACPA conference program:
This paper discusses the theme of “personal justice” in the Summa theologiae, a concept inherited from the Nicomachean Ethics wherein Aristotle says that a man is just toward himself only metaphorically, insofar as the parts of man are appropriately ordered with the higher ruling the lower and the body subjugated to the soul. This paper demonstrates how Aquinas extensively utilizes this concept of metaphorical justice across the tripartite division of the Summa in his accounts of original justice in the prima pars, the humanity of Christ in the tertia pars, and justification of the sinner in the secunda pars. As a response to critiques that Thomistic moral theology is not properly centered in the person of Christ, I will show that, for Aquinas, Christ’s personal justice both fulfills the right ordering of humanity lost through sin and restores that integrity to mankind in the grace of justification—the root of the Christian’s entire moral life.
There are two things worth noting. First, the Young Scholar's Award is a philosophy award and the paper is, as you see, on a theological topic. Second, Mr. Wanless is completing his PhD in theology at Ave Maria University. (Full disclosure: I teach at AMU. But I teach philosophy, not theology.)
But these two things, in a way, shouldn't be surprising. After all, there's an awful lot of philosophy in Aquinas's theology (materially speaking). And there's a significant amount of philosophy in Mr. Wanless's paper (materially speaking). It should also be noted that justice was the theme of this year's conference.
Mr. Wanless received the award last month in San Francisco, where this year's ACPA conference was held. His paper will be published in the next issue of the Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.