On November 2017, a philosophy conference took place at the University of New Brunswick to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation: What is Canadian Philosophy? In it, philosophers and thinkers from all over the country were invited to lecture about the most important thinkers in Canada in the last 150 years. That list included Canadians (such as Taylor, DeKonnig, Armour, etc.), and foreigner thinkers who developed their thought, and had an important influence in Canada (such as Gilson and Maritain).
As part of the celebrations for the 150 years, it was also decided to create the Charles Taylor Prize to the best philosophical work by a recent PhD graduate or about to graduate. Six new doctors (or about to get the degree, but who had already submitted their dissertations) were chosen to present their work. I was one of them, which surprised me greatly, as I am not a Canadian (nevertheless, studying in Canada)!
The event was held at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Saint Thomas, and my expenses were all paid for by the organizers of the Conference (Thank you!). I spoke before a great audience made up of prominent professors and philosophers from Canada. My theme was: “Secularism, Religion, and the Public Sphere in Canada.” There followed many interesting questions, comments, and in the end many approached me to talk more about the subject. But I did not expect more than that… Having got there was more than enough and an honour for me!
At the end of the conference we were notified that a special committee was going to choose the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for the best philosophical work done by a new doctor in recent years. I should say that within a few weeks I successfully defended my doctoral thesis (December 12, 2017).
This morning I was surprised and overjoyed to get an e-mail from the organizers of the conference announcing that I was chosen as the winner of the Charles Taylor Prize. They also announced that my work will be published in a volume on 150 Years of Philosophy in Canada, by the University of Toronto Press.
I am so grateful to all that have made this journey possible!