Linda Gaither wins Episcopal peace award

May 16, 2022
(Photo courtesy of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship)

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has selected scholar and activist Linda Gaither as the re­cipient of the 2022 John Nevin Sayre Award. The award, established in 1979, is given every three years to an Episcopalian who has shown “courageous witness in the cause of peace and justice.”

Gaither, former national chair of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, is credited with helping move the Episcopal Church toward a more “robust” witness for peace in Israel and the Pales­tinian territories, according to a press release from the fellowship. She is also a founding member of the New Jersey Dio­cesan anti-racism team and a vocal nuclear disarmament activist. She currently works with the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network.

Gaither has a masters in theology from Duke Divinity School and a PhD in religion and culture from the Catholic University of America. She is the author of the 1997 book To Receive a Text: Literary Reception Theory as a Key to Ecumenical Reception.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s release said Gaither was being honored for her dedication to justice and compelling witness as a disciple of Christ. “Linda’s good-natured outlook displays a good bit of humor and amazing humility, both of which have contributed to her work as an organizer,” it said.

The Sayre award is named after an Episcopal priest who famously convinced US president Woodrow Wilson to recognize conscientious objection as a legal alternative to military service.