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    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 17, 2016 – In recognition of his past and current academic success as well as a promising future in his career, Ryan Anderson is the recipient of the 2016 Novak Award.

    Passionate researcher and writer on numerous topics such as religious liberty, Anderson is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He is also the founder and editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and author of the recently released book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.

    Anderson’s research has been cited by U.S. Supreme Court justices, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas, in U.S. Supreme Court cases.  His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Harvard Health Policy ReviewFirst Things, the Weekly StandardNational Review, and the Claremont Review of Books.

    Anderson was born in Baltimore and currently resides in the District of Columbia. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and he received his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation was titled: “Neither Liberal Nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights.”

    Named after distinguished American theologian and social philosopher Michael Novak, the Novak Award recognizes new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology's connection to human dignity, the importance of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom. Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture, the 2016 date and location are forthcoming. The Novak Award comes with a $10,000 prize.

    The Novak Award forms part of a range of scholarships, travel grants, and awards available from the Acton Institute that support future religious and intellectual leaders who wish to study the essential relationship between theology, the free market, economic liberty, and the importance of the rule of law. Details of these scholarships may be found at

    About the Acton Institute

    The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1990, the Institute works internationally to “promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” For more information, visit

    Interviews with Acton Institute staff may be arranged by contacting Eric Kohn, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (616) 454-3080 or at [email protected].