Home > Press >

Major Award for Twelve Young International Scholars

Press Release No. 149/2011
17 May 2011
Heidelberg dissertation among the winners of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise

A dissertation completed at Heidelberg University is among the research publications to receive this year’s international John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. The award is endowed with $10,000 for each of the 12 young recipients from Europe and North America in recognition of the academic promise displayed in their doctoral dissertations or first post-dissertation book publications on the subject of “God and spirituality”. At the presentation of the awards on 20 May 2011, the main speech will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber, former bishop and chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany. After the presentation ceremony there will be a two-day colloquium at which the award winners will be given an opportunity to profile their new research projects. 

The Heidelberg dissertation to receive this distinction comes from the Faculty of Theology. The subject of the thesis by Dr. Jörg Haustein is “Writing Religious History. The Historiography of Ethiopian Pentecostalism”. It deals not only with the history of the Pentecostal movement in Ethiopia but also inquires how research in religious history can make use of the fictional, political and ideological aspects of historical narratives to understand the formation and acquisition of religious identities. The other award winners this year are Daniel Castelo (Seattle Pacific University), Jan Dietrich (Leipzig University), Jonathan Edelmann (Mississippi State University), Emiliano Fiori (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), Benjamin King (University of the South, Sewanee), Donna Lazenby (Westcott House Theological College, Cambridge, UK), Michael Legaspi (Phillips Academy, Andover), Nicholas Lombardo (Université de Fribourg), Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame), Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Loyola University, Chicago), and Elisha Russ-Fishbane (Princeton University).

“The John Templeton Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of research, notably the dialogue between theology, religious studies and the natural sciences,” says Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Welker, executive director of Heidelberg University’s Research Centre for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT). The American foundation awards the prize in conjunction with FIIT. Applications for the award came from 12 countries and a wide range of research fields. The subjects represented by the studies selected for the prize this year are Old Testament studies, Jewish studies, systematic theology, church history, religious and missionary studies, hermeneutics, evolutionary biology and literary studies. The submissions were evaluated by an awarding committee of 26 scholars from 16 countries. In the next two years the awardees will also receive 10,000 dollars each to cover the travel costs incurred when accepting invitations to speak at universities all over the world.

The public presentation ceremony (in English) takes place at 4 p.m. on Friday, 20 May 2011, in the Great Hall of the Old University (Grabengasse 1). The title of Professor Huber’s talk is “The Dignity of the Different: Christian Ethics in a Pluralistic World”. Prof. Huber was bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia from 1993 to 2009 and chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany from 2003 to 2009. For more information on the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, go to

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michael Welker
Research Centre for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT)
phone: +49 6221 543356

Communications and Marketing
Press Office
phone: +49 6221 542311

Editor: Email
zum Seitenanfang/up