South Africa: Archbishop Tutu wins Templeton Prize

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Former archbishop awarded £1.1m prize for life’s work.

Desmond Tutu pictured at the World Economic Forum in 2009 (Picture: World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger)

Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, has been awarded the 2013 Templeton Prize for his life-long work in “advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness” and his role in helping to end apartheid in South Africa.

Tutu rose to world prominence with his stalwart – and successful – opposition to apartheid. The former archbishop used his position within the church to focus global attention on the apartheid policies of South Africa’s ruling minority.

After Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 and subsequent election as president in the country’s first multi-ethnic democratic elections, Tutu chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission employing a revolutionary and relentless policy of confession, forgiveness and resolution that helped shepherd his nation from institutionalised racial repression toward an egalitarian democracy.

The Templeton Prize, founded by the late Sir John Templeton, aims to recognise acts of humanity and spirituality. Previous winners include Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.

Tutu will receive the £1.1m prize at a public ceremony at the Guildhall in London on Tuesday, May 21st.

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