5 April 2013
South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been awarded the 2013 Templeton Prize by the US-based Templeton Foundation for his work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness.
The prize was announced at the foundation’s headquarters in West Conshohocken in Pennsylvania and is valued at $1.7-million (about R15.6-million).
It is the world’s largest annual monetary prize awarded to an individual.
Tutu joins the ranks of 42 former winners of the prize, including the 2012 Prize Laureate the Dalai Lama and the 1973 winner Mother Theresa.
“The prize honours a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” it says on www.templetonprize.org.
It was established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton.
“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,” the president and chairperson of the foundation, John M Templeton Jr, said in a video statement.
“Not only does he teach this idea, he lives it.”
There will be an award ceremony at the Guildhall in London on 21 May, when Tutu will officially receive the prize.
A celebration will also be hosted on 11 April at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where Tutu served as Archbishop from 1986 to 1996.
“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,” Tutu said.
“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.”