Archbishop's Book Prize nomination

02 Feb 2009 13:34:00.000

PA 26/09

A University of Nottingham Professor who will help choose the next Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, has been nominated for a prestigious book prize awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.


The Revd Canon Professor Anthony Thiselton is among five nominees for the Archbishop’s 2009 Michael Ramsey Prize at this year’s Hay Festival in May. His book, The Hermeneutics of Doctrine

, has been described as one of the best works of contemporary theological writing. The work is an exploration and application of breakthroughs in philosophical and biblical theories of the interpretation of Biblical texts to Christian doctrine. It shows how this approach sheds new light on individual doctrines.


Professor Thiselton was Head of Theology at the University for nine years and still teaches Christian Theology at the department, as well as being a member of the Church of England General Synod. He is also one of six local representatives on the Crown Nominations Commission who will meet in the next few weeks to decide who will succeed the present Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Right Reverend George Cassidy, when he retires at the end of August.

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The Michael Ramsay Award is the most significant book prize in the field of modern theological writing. It was inaugurated by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to encourage the most promising contemporary theological writing and to promote it among a wider Christian readership. The biennial prize commemorates Dr Ramsey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury 1961–1974, and his commitment to increasing the breadth of theological understanding of people in general. Nominations are made by invited Anglican Primates worldwide, by leaders of Christian church bodies in the UK, Anglican Diocesan Bishops and by principals of theological colleges.


Announcing the shortlist of nominees, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, said: “I am delighted both with the quality and variety of the shortlisted work and at the prospect of joining with an extremely distinguished panel to judge and then award the Prize at this year’s Hay Festival.”


On his nomination, Professor Thiselton said: “It is a great honour to be shortlisted. All the other authors have decisively advanced research in their areas with distinguished work. This will also help to promote the book. I look forward to the Festival at Hay-on-Wye, and eagerly await the final verdict in May".


The other shortlisted titles are:


•  Sebastian Moore 

The Contagion of Jesus

•  David Brown 

God & Grace of Body: Sacrament in ordinary

•  Richard Burridge 

Imitating Jesus

•  Richard Bauckham  

Jesus and the eyewitnesses


The winner of the £15,000 Michael Ramsey Prize will be announced at a Gala Prizegiving lunch at the Guardian Festival in Hay-on-Wye on May 28 2009.


— Ends —


Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

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Professor Anthony Thiselton on 0115 917 6391,

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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