EKD Press Releases

George Hunsinger Awarded the 2010 Karl Barth Prize

Union of Protestant Churches Honors the US Theologian

June 23, 2010

 The Union of Protestant Churches (UEK) in the Evangelical Church in Germany has named theologian George Hunsinger from Princeton, USA as the recipient of the 2010 Karl Barth Prize. The decision was made by the UEK presidium at its meeting on Thursday, 17 June in Hannover. The explanatory statement said: "The UEK thanks and honors George Hunsinger for his exemplary theological thinking, for his political testimony and his ecclesial teaching in the sense of a truly 'generous orthodoxy', a world-oriented interpretation and practice of church dogmatics."

The 65-year-old Hunsinger, professor of systematic theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, is one of the most authoritative interpreters of the theological work of Karl Barth in the United States. He is also famous as the founder of the American "National Religious Campaign against Torture" (NRCAT), which is composed of Christian, Jewish and Islamic groups. Hunsinger is a member of the Presbyterian Church and was the main editor of the new Presbyterian "Study Catechism" published in 1998.

The prize is in honor of Swiss theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968), who was born in Basel. After ten years serving as a pastor, Barth was professor of theology from 1921 to 1935 at the universities of Göttingen, Münster and Bonn. He clashed with the National Socialist and was forced to leave Germany. From 1935 until his retirement in 1962, he was professor of systematic theology in the city of his birth. Karl Barth is universally considered one of the most significant theologians of the 20th century.

The Karl Barth Prize, instituted in 1986, is granted by the UEK every two years for an outstanding theological work or for outstanding life witness in church and society. Past recipients of the distinction include Theologians as Eberhard Jüngel, Hans Küng, John W. de Gruchy, Bruce McCormack and Meehyun Chung, as well as former German federal president Johannes Rau.

The three-member jury is composed of Pomeranian bishop Hans-Jürgen Abromeit, the director of the Karl-Barth Archive in Basel, Hans-Anton Drewes and Christiane Tietz, professor of systematic theology and social ethics in Mainz. George Hunsinger will be presented the prize at an award ceremony to be held in the spring or summer of 2011

Hanover, June 23, 2010

Press Office of the EKD and the UEK
Reinhard Mawick



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