Father Richard John Neuhaus is acclaimed as one of the foremost authorities on the role of religion in the contemporary world and is President of The Institute on Religion and Public Life, a nonpartisan interreligious research and education institute in New York City. He is editor-in-chief of the Institute's publication, First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life. Among his best known books are Freedom for Ministry, The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America, The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World, and, with Rabbi Leon Klenicki, Believing Today: Jew and Christian in Conversation. In 1995, he edited with Charles Colson, Evangelicals & Catholics Together: Toward A Common Mission (Word). Perennial popular favorites are Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus From the Cross and As I Lay Dying: Meditations upon Returning. His most recent book is Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth, which was published by Basic Books in February, 2006.
As a Lutheran clergyman, he was for seventeen years senior pastor of a low-income Black parish in Brooklyn, New York. He has played a leadership role in organizations dealing with civil rights, international justice, and ecumenism. Neuhaus' work has been the subject of feature articles in popular and scholarly publications both here and abroad, and he has been the recipient of numerous honors from universities and other institutions, including the John Paul II Award for Religious Freedom. In a survey of national leadership, US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT named Father Neuhaus one of the 32 "most influential intellectuals in America." Time Magazine, in a 2005 cover story, named Fr. Neuhaus one of 25 most influential religious leaders in America.
Born in Canada, Neuhaus received his formal education in Ontario and in the United States and is a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. In 1991 he was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of New York by the late Cardinal John O’Connor.