Jesuits present Archbishop of Canterbury with literary award

Dr Rowan Williams

Dr Rowan Williams

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been awarded the 2009 Campion Award for Achievement in Christian Letters from the editors of the Jesuit magazine, America.  Although the award recipient was chosen months ago, Archbishop Rowan Williams was unable to be in New York until late January, causing the ceremony to be held on 25 January - St Edmund Campion's birthday, the feast of the conversion of St Paul and the end of Christian unity week.

Doctor Williams was honoured for his writings that span theology, lives of saints, religious identity, poetry, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and contemporary television themes.  The editor-in-chief of America, Fr Drew Christiansen SJ, introduced the archbishop, and noted that the event fell most appropriately on the last day of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the modern ecumenical movement among the churches of Scotland.

Recalling some of the recent efforts toward Christian unity - such as recognition of both Protestant and Catholic martyrs by both the Church of England and the late Pope John Paul II - Father Christiansen said the Campion Award to Archbishop Williams is a further step on that path. 'It is an ecumenical event blessed and guided by our martyred forebears, both Anglican and Catholic,' he said. 'It is also a celebration of our common ministry of the word.'

The Campion Award was presented to Dr Williams by literary editor, Patricia A.  Kossmann.  The award is given on a regular basis to a notable Christian person of letters.  It is named after St Edmund Campion SJ, an English writer and martyr who is honoured in both the Anglican and Catholic traditions.

You can read Father Christiansen's introduction, listen to an audio recording of Archbishop Williams' remarks or see a slideshow of pictures from the evening by clicking on the link below.

Source: Jesuit Communications

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