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Desmond Tutu wins Templeton prize for advancing 'spiritual progress'

Posted on: April 4, 2013 1:11 PM
Related Categories: Desmond Tutu, Southern Africa

By  David Smith, The Guardian

Desmond Tutu, a clarion voice from the pulpit during South Africans' struggle against racial apartheid, has won the £1.1m Templeton prize for advancing the "spiritual liberation" of people around the world.

The John Templeton Foundation describes the 40-year-old prize as the world's biggest annual monetary award for individuals. Tutu, who adds it to honours including the Nobel peace prize, said he was "totally bowled over".

The former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town helped keep the struggle alive during the dark years when Nelson Mandela and other activists were jailed or exiled. He went on to chair the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ever outspoken, he has admitted sometimes feeling angry with God and two years ago wrote a book with the provocative title God is Not a Christian.

The Templeton Foundation, based in Pennsylvania in the US, praised Tutu for "his exceptional contributions to exemplifying a new and larger, living model of the benefits of religion and spiritual progress".

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