Vanderhaar Symposium

The Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium

For 28 years, Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar was a professor of Religion & Philosophy at Christian Brothers University. During his tenure, Dr. Vanderhaar was instrumental in starting the Peace Studies Minor program; was involved in bringing the Gandhi Institute to CBU; and brought speakers and peace and justice events to campus. A prolific writer, Dr. Vanderhaar authored six books and numerous articles including, Beyond Violence: In the Spirit of the Nonviolent Christ, the 1998 winner of the Pope Paul VI Book Award. In recognition of his wife’s work in promoting active nonviolence, Dr. and Mrs. Vanderhaar were co-recipients of the Dozier Award at CBU in 2003.

Locally, Dr. Vanderhaar was a founder of and served on the Board of the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center. At the national and international level, Vanderhaar played a key role in the founding of Pax Christi USA, which emerged as part of an international Catholic Peace Movement following World War II. He twice chaired the National Council of Pax Christi USA and served as the first editor of the Pax Christi newsletter. He played a key role in helping to develop Bishop Dozier’s influential pastoral on the Vietnam War, “Peace: Gift and Task.”

Since 2005, Christian Brothers University has hosted the annual Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Symposium in honor of Vanderhaar’s lifetime spent promoting peace and active nonviolence. The Symposium features a noted speaker who addresses a social and moral issue related to peace and justice and/or Catholic social teaching. Open to the public, the Vanderhaar Symposium includes the presentation of the Dr. Gerard A. Vanderhaar Student Peace Award to a Mid-South university student who has been involved in peace and justice work in our community.