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Grawemeyer Award in Religion
The Grawemeyer Award in Religion is made possible by the creative generosity of the late H. Charles Grawemeyer. The purpose of the Award is to honor annually the most significant contributions to religious and spiritual understanding. 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. Competition is open to persons of all religious and cultural world views and traditions for works presented or published within eight years of the award date.


Willia JenningsWhy has Christianity, a religion based on love, failed in its attempts to heal racial division?

The Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings, associate professor of theology and black church studies at Duke Divinity School, has earned the 2015 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for tackling that question in his book, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2010).

Jennings explains in the work how Christianity contributed to segregation and racism in America beginning in colonial times. He names broken relationships between people and land and rifts between Christianity and Judaism as key factors, arguing that a renewal of Christian imagination must take place to heal those divides.

“His book contains brilliant flashes of insight into Christianity and racial oppression,” said Shannon Craigo-Snell, a Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary professor who directs the award. “He also sheds light on how Christianity has the potential to foster more just and respectful relations between religious and racial groups.”

Jennings, an ordained Baptist minister, is former associate dean of academic programs at Duke Divinity School. He maintains an active teaching and preaching ministry and has been interim pastor of several North Carolina churches.

The American Academy of Religion named The Christian Imagination best book for constructive theology in 2011.

"How Should We See Race"

Read the transcript of the 2015 Grawemeyer Lecture, "How Should We See Race."



"A Conversation with the 2015 Grawemeyer Award Winner Willie James Jennings"
Marginalia: A Los Angeles Review of Books Channel
December 5, 2014

"Grawemeyer Award Given for Research on Religion and Race"
WFPL News 89.3 FM
December 5, 2014

"Grawemeyer Winner Links Christianity, Race"
Louisville Courier-Journal
December 5, 2014
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2017 Grawemeyer Award in Religion

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion.

Nominations for the 2017 Grawemeyer Award in Religion must be received by December 1, 2016.

Select the link below to download the 2017 Nomination Form.


Any work (book, address, essay, etc.) presented or published in 2010 or subsequently will be eligible for consideration for the 2017 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 will not be accepted or considered. There will be no discrimination based on religious affiliation or belief or lack thereof. The Award Committee encourages submissions from a wide variety of intellectual and/or religious perspectives. Previous winners are not eligible for subsequent awards.

Select the link below to download more information about eligibility, criteria, the nomination and review process.

For More Information ...

Dr. Shannon Craigo-Snell
Grawemeyer Award in Religion
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
1044 Alta Vista Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40205-1798
Telephone: (800) 264-1839
Fax: (502) 894-2286

Or see GRAWEMEYER.ORG for more information.

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