Three University of Divinity academics have been announced as winners in the 2020 ARPA awards.
ARPA, the Australasian Religious Press Association, is an ecumenical Christian communication network for Australian and New Zealand publications and their editors, journalists, designers and contributors.
Rev Dr Gordon Preece
Honorary Research Fellow and Religion and Social Policy Network
Gold award in the Best Profile Story category
‘A Short Biography of Robert Banks’, Zadok Perspectives
Judges notes: This article intended “to bring honour to the prophet in his own country” and it succeeded in doing that. It was a short biography but one of the longer articles submitted for this category. It gave an enthusiastic comprehensive view of a person of significance. It dealt with Robert Banks’s theological education, his career in academia, and his publications, showing how the subject’s radical biblical views pushed him to radical action. The article built a picture of Banks’s personality and behaviour; it showed how he related to his wife and children and to colleagues and students; it included the devastation of the death of Banks’s spouse and his joy at a second marriage. The profile of his life was based on the writer’s own experience of Robert Banks but also quoted from other people. It certainly did show the basic humanity of the subject in a very warm appraisal.The long article was divided very helpfully into three acts and an epilogue: 1. early academia, 2. independent scholar-practitioner, 3. Fuller Theological seminary professor, and then the time since the death of his first wife to the present. The structure, impeccable syntax and grammar made this article a joy to read and comprehend.
Rev Dr Jason Goroncy
Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Whitley College
Silver award in Best Theological Article category
‘On the gifts on street art’, Zadok Perspectives (Summer 2019)
Judges notes: In this article, Jason Goroncy argues that street art—in its antitheses, vulnerability, redefinition of proprietorship, in its concerns with alienation, poverty, greed and violence, and in its use of symbols and rituals — is a metaphor for the gospel. Further, street art has the capacity to communicate to people outside of the traditional faith communities who would otherwise remain untouched by the gospel. This is very exciting entry and I very much enjoyed reading it. It presents ideas which, though mainly not original, need to be made available to a wider Australian audience. The article is well referenced, including to overseas theoretical material. I suspect that the content would not be as immediately accessible as that of some of the other entries, but it is nevertheless appropriate for Zadok’s readership. The article presents an argument important to the field of missiology, but it contains very little overt theologising or use of Scripture. It was also not entirely clear to me from reading the article what its main purpose is. Is the article seeking to bring to the attention of the reader the richness of street art and its relationship to Christianity, or to commend street art (which of its nature is anarchic) as a strategic tool for mission in the postmodern era, or to recommend that Christians make more effort to ‘read’ street art? Or is it all three or none of the above?
Rev Canon Professor Dorothy Lee FAHA
Stewart Research Professor, Trinity College Theological School
Bronze award in Best Theological Article category
‘NT’s women show us God’s inclusive plan’, The Melbourne Anglican (September 2019)
Judges notes: This entry provides us with a remarkably concise yet comprehensive summary of the place of women in the economy of God, as recorded in the New Testament. The article discusses the evidence of the gospels, and the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline epistles. The article concludes that the New Testament attests to the equality of women and men within the home and the church, as well as in the secular arena, and that ‘complementarianism’ is not in accord with the scriptural evidence. The article is remarkable for covering a great deal of ground in a most easily accessible way. It is a valuable resource in one page and shows the fruits of the author’s very extensive research and writing experience in this field.