On Thursday, the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life announced that Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, a Roman Catholic priest of the Dominican Order, was awarded the 2014 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize.

A founder of liberation theology, Gutiérrez has worked to combine theology with social activism and has published more than a dozen books on the subject.

His 1971 book A Theology for Liberation is considered one of the most influential theological works of the 20th century, according to a Sept. 4 BrandeisNOW article.

The Gittler Prize was founded in 2007 and is awarded annually by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life on behalf of the Office of the President. It “recognize[s] outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations,” according to the University website. The winner of this prize is awarded $25,000 and a medal.

Gutiérrez was born in Peru and studied medicine at the National University of Peru before changing course to study theology. He studied psychology and philosophy at Leuven University in Belgium and was ordained as a priest in 1959. In 1985, he received his doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of Lyon, according to the BrandeisNOW article.

He has also taught at many universities around the world, and is currently the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. In the past, who was a professor at the Pontifical University of Peru and has taught as a visiting professor at many other universities.

BrandeisNOW reported that he holds about 20 honorary degrees from schools including Southern Methodist University and Yale University.

Gutierrez founded the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute in Lima, Peru, a Catholic organization with the mission of helping the poor through liberation and human development. In 1993, he was also made a member the French Legion of Honor for his humanitarian work in Latin America, according to BrandeisNOW.

The Gittler Prize will be awarded to Gutiérrez in a formal ceremony accompanied by a talk on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Goldfarb Library. The event is free and open to the public.