The winners of the 2022 Prizes and Awards of the Andrew Murray Prize Fund have just been announced.
P R I Z E S
THE ANDREW MURRAY PRIZE
The Andrew Murray Prize for General Christian Books in Afrikaans was won by Louis Jonker, Jan Botha, and Ernst Conradie for their book Die Bybel in fokus: Hoe om gelowig én denkend te lees (The Bible in Focus: How to Read Thoughtfully and Faithfully) (2020 Reissue). It was published by Lux Verbi. The judges feel that this book helps people to read the Bible faithfully, articulately, and critically. “Some theologians and many ministers and members do not know how to focus on the Bible and read it as thoughtful believers. This gap is dealt with in a special way in this book. It reads easily in everyday language and every believer should read and reread this book.”
Judges: Drs Kobus Anthonissen, Fanie Cronjé and Rev Fay van Eeden.
THE ANDREW MURRAY–DESMOND TUTU PRIZE
The Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize for theological books in an official language of South Africa was won by Andries van Aarde for his two-volume work, Jesus, Paul and Matthew, published by Cambridge Scholar’s Publications. It is described by the judges as a masterpiece that moves on a theological level of its own. Van Aarde’s work, they say, show a deep commitment to the current debate in New Testament and systematic theology. It challenges some ways of reading and understanding the Bible, so that the intention and relevance of the gospel becomes clear to present-day circumstances. The work is intense and innovative with sound arguments. It speaks to the judges of an in-depth knowledge of the New Testament. The last chapter of the second volume is of a personal, autobiographical nature. “It seems that in these two books we are dealing with lived-through theology, and that the stigmata of the cross is also not strange to the life of the author.”
Judges: Rev Anlené Taljaard and Profs Johan Buitendag and Ransoa Letsosa.
THE DESMOND TUTU-GERRIT BRAND PRIZE
The Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize for debut work was won by Roedolf Botha for his book Jesus Leadership, published by Lux Verbi. The judges write that the book, which discusses Jesus’ leadership in the light of the Gospel of Mark, provides a distinctive focus on church leadership that is theologically well-founded – “it’s a book to consult again and again. It seeks to motivate and inspire and manages superbly to do just that. The book reads quickly but doesn’t disappear from the mind so quickly.”
Judges: Revs Farren Watt, Marileen Steyn and Eugéne Malan.
A W A R D S
The following awards will this year be made by the Andrew Murray Prize Fund.
THE ANDREW MURRAY-FAK AWARD
The Andrew Murray FAK Award is given to singer Piet Smit. In the recommendation for the award to him, his longstanding full-time music ministry is highlighted, the five albums that have achieved gold status, and “Heer U maak my nuut” (Lord you renew me) which reached platinum status – a feat that could not yet be repeated by any other original spiritual album in South Africa. Piet Smit’s music is rooted in the “Country & Folk” style in the narrating listen song genre.
CLF-ELISE TEMPELHOFF AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND JUSTICE
This award is given to Susan Rakoczy for her academic article, “God as Father: Patriarchy and Climate Change” which appeared in Handbook on Christian Theology and Climate Change, 2019. Prof Rakoczy is one of South Africa’s leading feminist theologians who writes, among other things, about “green conversion”, about feminist spirituality and about “green sisters”, especially from a Catholic perspective. The winning essay attests to theological maturity and profound insight. She points to the nuanced meanings of God as Father that can be both liberating and legitimizing of patriarchy, with far-reaching consequences.
THE JAAP DURAND-DENISE ACKERMANN AWARD FOR UNITY, RECONCILIATION AND JUSTICE
This award is given to Laurie Gaum. He facilitates workshops for the non-governmental organisation Genderworks in “Gender Equity & Reconciliation” and human sexuality. Among other things, the workshops support churches and congregations to create safe spaces where healing between “straight” and “queer” believers can take place. Laurie is furthermore involved in interfaith initiatives to promote respect between people of different faiths. He was the first applicant in the Gaum vs DRC court case to set aside the negative decision of the 2016 Extraordinary General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church, with the High Court finding unfair church discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people unconstitutional. Laurie Gaum strives in the harsh reality for the embodiment of the values of the Confession of Belhar.
The prizes and awards consist of cash amounts and charters. The award function is planned for 27 May 2022 in the Jubilee Hall, Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality, Wellington.
Deputy Chair: Andrew Murray Prize Fund 20 April 2022