American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Rising Scholar Essay Contest

The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly (ACPQ) is pleased to announce its eighth annual Rising Scholar Essay Contest. Any scholar who will not have attained the rank of associate professor by September 1, 2020, is invited to submit a paper that contributes to the development or elucidation of the Catholic philosophical tradition. The winning essay will be published in the ACPQ and specially designated in the journal as winner of the contest.  

The author of a single-authored winning paper will receive a $3000 award and a free one-year membership in the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA). Each co-author of a co-authored winning paper will receive a share, equal to that of the other co-author(s), of a $3000 award, together with a free one-year membership for in the ACPA. All co-authors of the winning paper must be below the rank of associate professor at the time of the submission deadline, September 1, 2020. Author(s) need not be members of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.  

Participants should keep in mind the following contest rules:

• Papers must be submitted electronically to by no later than 5:00 pm (CDT) on September 1, 2020. The paper should be accompanied by an abstract of up to 150 words. The cover letter field of the submission site's Details and Comments section should indicate the author's academic rank as of September 1, 2020 (e.g., "Ph.D. candidate") and that the submission is for the essay contest.

• Papers should be prepared for blind review and should be of the length, format, and style characteristic of ACPQ articles. Participants should consult a recent edition of the journal or the ACPQ Article Submission Guidelines. The statement “Redacted for Blind Review” may be used in place of any material removed for the purposes of blind review (such as acknowledgments, statements of gratitude, affiliation information, or references authored by participant(s)).

• No author may enter more than one paper in the contest. Previous Rising Scholar Contest winners are ineligible to enter.

• Entering a paper in the contest constitutes agreement by all of the paper’s authors to its publication in the ACPQ should it be accepted for that purpose; such agreement is not contingent on the paper’s winning the contest. Papers entered in the contest must therefore not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

• The winning paper will be published in the ACPQ and will be specially designated in the ACPQ as winner of the contest.

• Notification will be sent by October 1, 2020, regarding whether papers have reached the finalists’ stage.

• The author(s) of the winning essay will be notified by November 1, 2020.

Inquiries may be directed to

Final Selection Committee

Francis Beckwith, Baylor University

John Haldane, St. Andrews University and Baylor University

Sandra Menssen, University of St. Thomas (MN)

Previous Winners

2013: Andrew J. Jaeger, Back to the Primitive: From Substantial Capacities to Prime Matter, ACPQ v. 88 no. 3 (2014): 381–95.

2014: Brian Besong, Reappraising the Manual Tradition, ACPQ v. 89 no. 4 (2015): 557–84.

2015: Joseph Stenberg, “Aquinas on the Relationship between the Vision and Delight in Perfect Happiness,” ACPQ v. 90 no. 4 (2016): 665–80.

2016: Therese Scarpelli Cory, “Knowing as Being? A Metaphysical Reading of the Identity of Intellect and Intelligibles in Aquinas,” ACPQ v. 91 no. 3 (2017): 333–51.

2017: Daniel Shields, "Everything in Motion is Put in Motion by Another: A Principle in Aquinas' First Way," ACPQ v. 92 no.4 (2018).

2018: Thomas A. Ward, "A Most Mitigated Friar: Scotus on Natural Law and Divine Freedom," ACPQ v. 93 no. 3 (2019).