Luke Bretherton , associate professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School and senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke, has received the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for his book on Christianity and politics.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams awarded the theological writing prize to Bretherton for Christianity and Contemporary Politics on May 28 at the Telegraph Hay Festival in Britain. Bretherton received an approximate $16,000 prize for the book, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2010.
Established by Williams in 2005, the prize aims to encourage the most promising contemporary theological writing and identify it for a wider readership. It is awarded to the author of a theological work who is judged to contribute most toward advancing theology and making a lasting contribution to the faith and life of the church.
"Luke Bretherton's book is a systematic overview of what the Christian churches as concrete communities can contribute to the cultural context in which politics has become such a complex matter,” said Williams, former head of the Church of England. “This is a finely argued theological take on the situation we face, based on practical examples and resources."
The book was selected in December to a shortlist of six books for the prize. The shortlist was chosen from numerous titles nominated by a diverse reference group including bishops and other Christian leaders from a variety of denominations, academics, and members of the public.
Bretherton said he was deeply honored to have won the prize for the book, which was born of a deep pastoral concern about how the church can faithfully navigate contemporary political life.
“My highest aspiration in writing this book was that it would give people tools and understanding in discerning the relationship between Christian commitments and social, political and economic concerns,” he said. “Winning the Michael Ramsey Prize is an affirmation that I have come some way to achieving that, and an affirmation of theology as both a pastoral exercise and one that has political traction."
The Lambeth Trust sponsors the award, which is administered by The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It commemorates Dr. Michael Ramsey, archbishop of Canterbury from 1961-1974, and his commitment to increasing the breadth of theological understanding among the Christian, and non-Christian, population at large.
Read more information about the 2013 Ramsey Prize.