Michael Barnes SJ receives the Hubert Walter Award

Congratulations to Professor Michael Barnes SJ, who has received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for his long and distinguished contribution in this field. The award was presented today, 4th of April, by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.

Hubert Walter was a noted jurist and financial administrator who was himself Archbishop of Canterbury from 1193 to 1205. He accompanied King Richard on the third crusade, was involved in negotiations with Saladin over access for Christian clergy to the Holy Places, and helped raise the ransom to get the king released from incarceration in Germany when he was captured on his return from the Holy Land. The award in his name was first launched by Archbishop Justin Welby in 2016.

Jesuit Provincial, Fr Damian Howard SJ, said: “Michael is a worthy recipient of this prize which recognises not only his eminence as an expert in the Christian theology of religions but also his skill and hard work as a practitioner of interreligious relations in London and elsewhere. He has made a huge contribution to a complex and contested area of study by refusing easy answers and instead speaking out of the Church’s experience of encounter and dialogue. I am confident that his work will still be on reading lists for decades to come. We are immensely proud of his achievements.”

The award citation for Professor Michael Barnes SJ reads: “Alongside outstanding intellectual contributions such as his Theology and the Dialogue of Religions (CUP, 2002) and Interreligious Learning (2012), he has made a concerted effort to lead in grassroots interreligious community engagement such as the De Nobili Centre in Southall. In 2007 Michael Barnes set up the Southall ‘Faiths Together’ project, with the aim of training people for interreligious relations. Michael has used the phrase ‘theology of dialogue’ to encapsulate his central conviction, that there is more to dialogue than a way of Christian witness appropriate to a pluralist world; dialogue has something to do with God. […] Michael has been instrumental in teaching generations of students on subjects such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christian theologies of relations since the early 1980s. Whilst a leading Roman Catholic scholar, his teaching has always served a strongly ecumenical and interreligious constituency, with many Anglicans benefiting from his wisdom and insight.”

Professor Michael Barnes SJ will give a series of lectures on new approaches to interreligious relations. Find out more