Essays by three young theologians from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and United States have been selected as winners of the 2022 Lombard Prize.
The Prize’s aim is to encourage theological work in the tradition of Reformed thought that responds to challenges of our time, bringing together elements of faith and theology in dialogue with justice and peace issues and mission in the world—all central themes of Reformed witness.
The 2022 Lombard Prize competition challenged young theologians to write on any aspect of “Ecumenism from the Margins: Confessing a God of life in a world fallen among thieves.” Qualifying essays were to illustrate a familiarity with Reformed tradition and theology and to demonstrate both theological imagination and a willingness to relate theology to modern-day challenges.
Victoria Turner (United Reformed Church (UK)) took first place for her essay, “Structural Flourishing or Life Flourishing? A Critical Response to the Popular Tool of Receptive Ecumenism.” She will receive a cash prize, along with a scholarship to the next Global Institute of Theology (GIT).
“I am delighted to win such an important essay prize and honoured to sit among the previous winners!” Turner said. “The prize has an amazing legacy of elevating justice-orientated ecumenical work from younger writers. I loved writing the essay and feel like it encapsulates my passion for diversifying ecumenical literature and thinking, and am so grateful for the panel’s engagement with my work.”
The panel judging the essays consisted of eminent theologians from the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), who also are a part of the Reformed World editorial board. The winning essays will be published in a future edition of that theological journal.
Taking second place for his essay “Evangelism as an Act of Hospitality: A Local Church Case of Ecumenism from the Margins” was Paulo Camara (Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil). Camera will also receive both a cash award and GIT scholarship.
“This award is certainly an invitation to continue with the studies on ecumenism from the margins. In a world fallen among thieves, to confess God is to share hope. With one voice Christians confess God, and through many voices, Christians’ testimony God’s presence among humanity,” Camara said.
In third place, for which he’ll receive a GIT scholarship, was David Brandon Smith (Presbyterian Church (USA)) for his essay, “A Liberative Reformed Linguistic: Ecumenical Formation Programs, Gender and Sexuality.”
“To me, the Lombard Prize is about more than a celebration of emerging scholars, it is also about declaring the openness of our communion to the future God has designed for us. In the years and decades to come, we will continue to face great challenges and ask over-arching questions together. I pray we will do so in the spirit of unity, siblinghood, and justice to which Christ has called us,” said Smith.
The Lombard Prize is given by the WCRC in association with Lombard, Odier & Cie (Geneva, Switzerland) in memory of the late Georges Lombard, associate of the bank.