David B. Hart wins the 2011 Michael Ramsay prize
London, May 27 (ENInews)--Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, today awarded the 2011 Michael Ramsey prize to "Atheist Delusions," by
David Bentley Hart. The book, said Dr. Williams in a news release, "takes no
prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity."
"Needless to say the honor is very great," said Hart in a news release.
"For me, it lies especially in the name of the prize, as I have such a high
regard for Michael Ramsey, and in its being conferred by the current
Archbishop of Canterbury, whose work is among the richest theology being written
in English today."
In the book, Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world
in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism,
conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruelest aspects of pagan
society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what
we term the "Age of Reason" was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of
reason's authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present,
delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a
culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.
In a news release, Dr. Williams described David Bentley Hart as "a
theologian of exceptional quality, but also a brilliant stylist. This book takes
no prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity. But
what makes it more than just another contribution to controversy is the way
he shows how the most treasured principles and values of compassionate
humanism are rooted in the detail of Christian doctrine."
Born in 1965 in Maryland, Hart has degrees from the University of
Maryland, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Virginia. He was most
recently a professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. He specializes
in philosophical theology, religious studies, Asian religions, patristics,
and aesthetics. He is also a writer on cultural issues, with an emphasis
Hart will receive am award of 10,000 pounds. The Michael Ramsey Prize is
intended for theological writing in which freshness and originality change
the theological landscape and reinforce the Church’s institutional life.