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MEDIA RELEASE

The Andrew Murray Prize Fund gladly announces the winners of its 2020 prizes and awards:

PRIZES

1) ANDREW MURRAY PRIZE FOR CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS IN AFRIKAANS

Nico Smith with his book, In Mamelodi het ek my God gevind (In Mamelodi I found my God, reissued in 2018 by Lux Verbi) is posthumously awarded with the Andrew Murray Prize 2020. The adjudicators write: “Smith’s story is extremely important and relevant for our time. The reissuing of his book became necessary because the church perhaps haven’t been previously ready to hear this story. Smith’s biography is grippingly honest and deceptively simple. He quit his job as professor in theology at the University of Stellenbosch to become minister in Mamelodi in order to put his money where his mouth was, giving effect to his preaching: to fight apartheid and the injustice it brought at grassroots level. Smith writes his story in a human idiom without demonizing anyone or making others come across as unconvincing. He succeeds in telling his story without boasting or being sorry for himself. It becomes a story of hope”.

The adjudicators were rev. Rethie van Niekerk, dr Andries Cilliers and dr Rudi Buys. The Andrew Murray Prize consists of a cash amount of R25 000.

2) ANDREW MURRAY-DESMOND TUTU PRIZE FOR THEOLOGICAL PUBLICATIONS IN AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF SOUTH AFRICA

Rachel S. Baard’s book, Sexism and sin-talk: Feminist conversations on the human condition (published by Westminster John Knox Press) is winner of the Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize 2020. The adjudicators write: “This book is a breath-taking read. The simplicity with which it is structured shifts the theological depth of the work while the commitment and passion for its theme pulses under its surface with clarity and strength. Revisiting the doctrine of sin from a feminist perspective (with special reference to the work and influence of Rosemary Rudford Ruether) and then rather calling it “sin-talk”, is much needed and refreshing. About the actuality of the book there can be little doubt. The high levels of violence against women undeniably define our society. The fact that the traditional Christian understanding of sin is strongly influenced by a patriarchal culture gets convincingly argued. While Baard on the one hand sharply and comprehensively criticizes the traditional understanding of sin, on the other she indicates in surprising fashion the continued relevance of the Christian concept of sin for our time.

The adjudicators were dr Jacob Meiring, prof Etienne de Villiers and rev. Michelle Boonzaaier. The Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize consists of a cash amount of R25 000.  

3) DESMOND TUTU-GERRIT BRAND PRIZE FOR DEBUT WORK

Cas Wepener and Anandie Greyling are editors to the winning publication for the Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize 2020: Ongekaart – ‘n Bronboek met roetemerkers vir oorgange (Unchartered – A Resource book with route markers for transitions, published by Bybelkor). The book came in consideration for the debut prize since it is a first publication for some of the contributors. It addresses a very current need in the religious world: a world looking for markers and rituals to give meaning to life. Many of the transitions and meaningful moments in the life of modern people are “unchartered” on the church atlas. This book helps people of faith and especially religious leaders to reflect on thresholds, the new beginnings and endings in their lives. The short and gripping contributions help people understand that transitions needn’t be fearful.

The adjudicators were rev. Juanita Greyvenstein, rev. Louis van der Riet and dr Carike Noeth. The Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize consists of a cash amount of R10 000.

AWARDS

1) SPECIAL ANDREW MURRAY AWARD

Prof Bernard Combrink receives a special Andrew Murray Award. He is the chairperson of the ecumenical task team responsible for the Direct Translation of the Bible in Afrikaans which gets published later this year. 2020 is the “Year of the Bible” and it is therefore fitting that the new translation this year is published by the Bible Society of South Africa. Prof Combrink had a lion’s share in the translation process which took years and, in his long career, contributed significantly to New Testament studies. This award consists of a cash amount of R10 000.

2) ANDREW MURRAY-FAK AWARD FOR CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Gideon van der Watt and Jacques Louw together receive the Andrew Murray-FAK Award for Christian music. Van der Watt is project manager and Louw hymnological editor of “Sing praises all you people” – a unique song book in several South African languages for sing-alongs by people of faith of the Dutch Reformed family of churches and beyond. It is jointly published by the Christian Literature Fund and Bible Media. The cash award of R10 000 is shared by Van der Watt and Louw.

3) JAAP DURAND-DENISE ACKERMANN AWARD FOR UNITY, RECONCILIATION AND JUSTICE

This award gets awarded this year for the first time. It goes to prof Piet Meiring who is professor emeritus in Missiology of the University of Pretoria, previously member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a previous moderator of the Eastern Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), writer of several books promoting unity, justice and reconciliation, and initiator of the erstwhile Year of Hope of the DRC. The cash award amounts to R10 000.

4) Die CLF-ELISE TEMPLEHOFF AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

This award, funded by the Christian Literature Fund (CLF), gets awarded this year for the first time. It goes to prof Ernst Conradie who with several authoritative publications brought the ecological crisis from a Christian-theological perspective to the church’s attention. Conradie, based at the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape, already twice won the Andrew Murray Prize for theological publications in Afrikaans. The cash award amounts to R10 000.

The annual prize-giving ceremony for the prizes and awards which usually takes place in May – the birth month of Andrew Murray – is cancelled due to the corona pandemic. The formal awarding of the 2020 prizes and awards will coincide in May next year with that year’s prize-giving. The money prizes are already awarded this year.

FRITS GAUM
Chairperson: Andrew Murray Prize Fund
083 4325 834

April 2020

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