Grawemeyer Award in Religion

The Grawemeyer Award in Religion is made possible by the creative generosity of the late H. Charles Grawemeyer. Louisville Seminary, jointly with the University of Louisville, awards the $100,000 prize to honor and publicize creative and significant insights into the relationship between human beings and the divine. The award also recognizes ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness, integrity, or meaning, either individually or in community.

2021 Winner: Stephen J. Patterson

Early Christianity’s first creed, which was quoted in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (3:26-28), claims that we are all God’s children. The original baptismal creed, which Paul did not write, but quoted and adapted, is:

For you are all children of God in the Spirit.
There is no Jew or Greek;
There is no slave or free;
There is no male or female.
For you are all one in the Spirit.


In The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism (Oxford University Press, 2018), Stephen J. Patterson unpacks this creed in the context of the Greco-Roman world when Jesus was still fresh in the memory of those who knew him. Patterson, the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, claims that the first followers of Jesus were taking on race, class, and gender in the midst of conflicts between Greeks and Jews, the slave economy, and the gender dynamics of the time.

“History reminds us again and again that it has always been easier to believe in miracles, in virgin births and atoning deaths, in resurrected bodies and heavenly journeys home, than something so simple and basic as human solidarity,” said Patterson.

The Forgotten Creed earned Patterson the 2020 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, jointly with the University of Louisville, awards the $100,000 prize to honor and publicize creative and significant insights into the relationship between human beings and the divine. The award also recognizes ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness, integrity, or meaning, either individually or in community.

“Patterson’s well-written book proposes a fascinating way to think about those earliest followers of Jesus and their radical notions of human solidarity,” said Tyler Mayfield, Faculty Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and the A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament at Louisville Seminary.

In nine books and more than seventy-five articles, essays and reviews, Patterson has explored the origins of Christianity, especially through texts often overlooked because they are not in the Bible. He writes and lectures widely on the hidden histories of earliest Christianity, and he has appeared on many documentaries in connection with his work on the Gospel of Thomas, Q, and the quest for the historical Jesus.

https://www.ilancashire.co.uk

Eligibility

Grawemeyer Religion Award Nominations are invited from religious organizations, appropriate academic associations, religious leaders and scholars, presidents of universities or schools of religion, publishers and editors of scholarly journals. Self-nominations are be accepted or considered. There is no discrimination based on religious affiliation or belief or lack thereof. Previous winners are not eligible for subsequent awards.

Click here to view the Grawemeyer Award eligibility information.

Click here to get the 2022 Grawemeyer Award nomination form.

For more information, contact Dr. Tyler Mayfield.
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
1044 Alta Vista Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40205-1798
U.S.A.
Telephone: (800) 264-1839
Fax: (502) 894-2286

Or see grawemeyer.org/religion for more information.

Past Grawemeyer Award in Religion Winners

1990
E.P. Sanders
Jesus and Judaism

1991
John Harwood Hick
An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent

1992
Ralph Harper
On Presence: Variations and Reflections

1993
Elizabeth A. Johnson
She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse

1994
Stephen L. Carter
The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion

1995
Diana L. Eck
Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey from Bozeman to Banaras

1996
No Winner


1997
Larry L. Rasmussen
Earth Community, Earth Ethics

1998
Charles Marsh
God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights

1999
No Competition


2000
Jürgen Moltmann
The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology

2001
James L. Kugel
The Bible As It Was

2002
Miroslav Volf
Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation

2003
Mark Juergensmeyer
Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence

2004
Jonathan Sacks
The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations

2005
George M. Marsden
Jonathan Edwards: A Life

2006
Marilynne Robinson
Gilead: A Novel

2007
Timothy B. Tyson
Blood Done Sign My Name

2008
Margaret Farley
Just Love: A Framework For Christian Sexual Ethics

2009
Donald W. Shriver, Jr.
Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds

2010
Eboo Patel
Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation

2011
Luke Timothy Johnson
Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity

2012
Barbara D. Savage
Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion

2013
Leila Ahmed
A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence from the Middle East to America

2014
Tanya Luhrmann
When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God

2015
Willie James Jennings
The Christian Imagination

2016
Susan R. Holman
Beholden: Religion, Global Health, and Human Rights

2017
Gary Dorrien
The New Abolition: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel

2018
James H. Cone
The Cross and the Lynching Tree

2019
Robert P. Jones
The End of White Christian America

2020
No Winner