Last week, it was announced that the 2010 Karl Barth Prize will be awarded to George Hunsinger. Since 1986, the prize has been awarded by the Union of Evangelical Churches for an outstanding theological contribution or for outstanding life witness in church and society – past recipients include Eberhard Jüngel, Hans Küng, John W. de Gruchy, Bruce McCormack and Meehyun Chung. The panel said of Hunsinger:
We honor his interpretation of Karl Barth’s theology and the political testimony that resulted from it, as well as his achievements as a teacher of theology.... He proves to be not only a sophisticated interpreter but also a challenging partner in the theological and political debates of our times. Hunsinger reminds us with Karl Barth that “the event of Jesus Christ is not only a past fact of history, but also an event that is happening in the present here and now, as well as an event that in its historical completeness and full contemporaneity is also truly future."Further details are available from Travis, Princeton Seminary, and the GEKE.
... For decades he has been active and most effective in the defense of Human Rights. He has always warned against the resolution of political conflicts through military means. In 2006 he initiated the National Religious Campaign against Torture (NRCAT). What then began as an appeal by 150 Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other people of conscience in Princeton became one of the most important NGOs in Washington DC....
Hunsinger overcomes the false alternative between “traditional faith” and “progressive politics” and thereby becomes a bridge builder between liberal and conservative Christians. He teaches that “the chief criterion of social witness is conformity to the enacted patterns of the divine compassion as revealed and embodied in Jesus Christ”. 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.