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Tutu Awarded Templeton Prize

Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, has been awarded the 2013 Templeton Prize, the world's largest annual monetary award given to an individual.

The Templeton Prize office said that he had been given the £1.1 million prize 'for his lifelong work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which have helped to liberate people around the world'.

Now 81, Tutu gained global recognition during the 1980s as an active campaigner and opponent of Apartheid. He was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town and primtae of the Church of the province of Southern Africa. After the end of Apartheid, he chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which played a significant role in the healing process of the nation.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005.

“By embracing such universal concepts of the image of God within each person, Desmond Tutu also demonstrates how the innate humanity within each of us is intrinsically tied to the humanity between all peoples,” said Dr John M Templeton Jr, the president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation. “Desmond Tutu calls upon all of us to recognise that each and every human being is unique in all of history and, in doing so, to embrace our own vast potential to be agents for spiritual progress and positive change.  Not only does he teach this idea, he lives it.”

Responding to the award, Tutu said: “When you are in a crowd and you stand out from the crowd it’s usually because you are being carried on the shoulders of others.  I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people who accepted me as their leader at home and so to accept this prize in a representative capacity.”

Tutu gave a memorable speech to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2009.


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