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Archbishop announces 2011 Michael Ramsey Prize shortlist

Wednesday 8th December 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has today announced the shortlist for the 2011 Michael Ramsey Prize (MRP). The prize will be awarded at Telegraph Hay festival in May 2011.

he Archbishop commented "I am delighted with both the quality and strikingly diverse subject matter of this year's shortlist for the Michael Ramsey Prize. The extremely distinguished panel who will join me to judge and award the Prize at the Hay Festival next May have an exciting, but also a very challenging, job to do. What this shortlist shows is that the best of contemporary theological writing is shining a critical and creative light into some of the mostchallenging areas of our experience. This kind of theology is making a very strong claim to be included in the mainstream of critical thinking and reflection – exactly as Michael Ramsey would have wished."

The shortlisted titles are:

  • Thomas E. Reynolds, Vulnerable Communion (Brazos Press)
  • Christopher Cocksworth, Holding Together (Canterbury)
  • Richard Harries, The Re-enchantment of Morality (SPCK)
  • Angel F. Montoya, The Theology of Food (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Robert Hughes, Beloved Dust (Continuum)
  • David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions (Yale University Press)

The shortlisted books will now be read by the seven MRP judges who will come together in Hay-on-Wye on 26th May 2011 to choose the winning title.

The judges are:

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury;
  • his wife, theologian and teacher Jane Williams;
  • the winner of the 2009 Michael Ramsey Prize, Professor Richard Bauckham;
  • Bishop John Inge, Bishop of Worcester;
  • the actor Simon Russell Beale;
  • Janet Soskice, Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge;
  • and Revd Lucy Winkett, writer, broadcaster and Rector of St James's Piccadilly.

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at a Gala Prizegiving Lunch at the Telegraph Hay Festival on 27th May 2011. The winning author will also receive a mosaic plaque hand made by ceramicist Dee Hardwicke. The other shortlisted authors will each receive £1,000 and a commemorative tile hand made by Dee Hardwicke.

As in 2005 (Tom Wright), 2007 (Timothy Radcliffe) and 2009 (Richard Bauckham) the Michael Ramsey Prize for 2011 will be awarded to the author of a theological work that is judged to contribute most towards advancing theology and making a lasting contribution to the faith and life of the Church.

The Award, which is sponsored by the Lambeth Fund and administered by SPCK, was inaugurated by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to encourage the most promising contemporary theological writing and to identify it for a wider Christian readership.

The biennial prize commemorates Dr Ramsey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury 1961-1974, and his commitment to increasing the breadth of theological understanding among the Christian, and non-Christian, population at large.

Professor Richard Bauckham's work Jesus and the Eyewitnesses won the prize in 2009. The winner of the 2007 prize was What is the point of being a Christian? by Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, ex-Master of the worldwide Dominican Order of Friars Preachers. The 2005 prize was won by Bishop Tom Wright's work The Resurrection of the Son of God (SPCK), a book exploring the resurrection of Jesus in the light of ancient pagan, Jewish and Christian beliefs on death and resurrection.

This year's list was chosen from a long list of titles nominated by a diverse reference group including Bishops, heads of theological colleges, Anglican Primates and ecumenical partners.

For more information about the Michael Ramsey prize, click link on the right. 

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