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Six ‘gifts to the church’ shortlisted for Michael Ramsey Prize

Posted on: February 29, 2016 2:27 PM
The six titles to make the shortlist of this year's Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing have been announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The winner will be announced at the Greenbelt Festival in August.
Related Categories: Abp Welby, Bp Idowu-Fearon, England, theology

[ACNS] The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has announced the shortlist for this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. Launched in 2005, Launched in 2005, the prize is awarded every three years in celebration of “the most promising contemporary theological writing from the global Church.”

The winner will receive a cash award of £10,000; while shortlisted authors will receive £1,000 each.

Unveiling the shortlist at the recent Bloxham Festival of Faith & Literature, Archbishop Welby said that it “offers a glimpse into the riches not just of contemporary Christian thinking, but of Christian living. Each book has been a gift to the Church – helping us to think more deeply, act more wisely and witness more effectively to the glory of God.

“Writing such as this challenges, nourishes and inspires the Church to be ever more deeply and more joyfully what it is called to be: a praying, reconciling, proclaiming and witnessing community of people following Jesus Christ. It will be a real privilege to join my fellow judges in reflecting on these books, and sharing them with a wider audience . . .”

Archbishop Justin will be joined by secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon; the director of the Centre for Trust, Peace, & Social Relations, Professor Rosalind Searle; the broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson; and lecturer in Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, Dr Anna Rowlands as a judging panel.

The judges will consider each book against the key criteria for the prize: “to celebrate the most promising contemporary theological writing, and upon the degree to which each book deepens their faith, makes them think, inspires them to action, and is an enjoyable read.” They will read each book individually over the coming months before coming together at the Greenbelt Festival on 28 August to discuss their findings and choose the winning title.

The shortlisted books and their authors are:

Benigno Beltran,
Faith & Struggle on Smokey Mountain (Orbis)

Stephen Cherry,
Healing Agony: Re-imagining Forgiveness (Continuum)

Anne Richards,
Children in the Bible (SPCK)

Francis Spufford,
Unapologetic (Faber & Faber)

John Swinton,
Dementia: Living in the memories of God (SCM)

Frances Young,
God’s Presence: a contemporary recapitulation of early Christianity (Cambridge University Press)