Har­vard Scholar Bags Re­li­gion Awards


A Har­vard scholar, Prof. Ja­cob Olupona has been an­nounced the re­cip­i­ent of the 2018 Martin E. Marty Award for the Pub­lic Un­der­stand­ing of Re­li­gion.

In a state­ment at the week­end, Olupona, Pro­fes­sor of African Re­li­gious Tra­di­tions, Har­vard Di­vin­ity School and Pro­fes­sor of African and African Amer­i­can Stud­ies, Fac­ulty of Arts and Sciences at Har­vard Univer­sity, emerged the win­ner of the pres­ti­gious award af­ter due con­sid­er­a­tion of his work in peace and un­der­stand­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, the author and ed­i­tor of sev­eral books, his re­search ranges across African spir­i­tu­al­ity and ritual prac­tices.

It added that it ranged from re­li­gious plu­ral­ism in Africa and African di­as­poric com­mu­ni­ties in the Amer­i­cas, in­clud­ing the un­der-stud­ied “re­verse mis­sion­ar­ies” from Africa who have come to the United States to es­tab­lish churches.

“In ad­di­tion to Olupona’s sem­i­nal schol­arly work in ex­pand­ing un­der­stand­ing of the di­ver­sity and com­plex­ity of African re­li­gions, he is also known for his work for peace and un­der­stand­ing in Nige­rian civic, aca­demic, re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal spheres.

“He was named an awardee of the pres­ti­gious Na­tional Or­der of Merit, Nige­ria’s high­est honor for in­tel­lec­tual ac­com­plish­ment in sci­ence, medicine, engineering/tech­nol­ogy, or the hu­man­i­ties in 2007.”

In this year’s Marty Award Fo­rum in Den­ver, John Campbell, for­mer U.S. Am­bas­sador to Nige­ria and cur­rent Ralph Bunche Se­nior Fel­low for Africa Pol­icy Stud­ies at the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions, will serve as in­ter­locu­tor for an ex­tended pub­lic di­a­logue about Olupona’s life and work.


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