FaithWorld

Desmond Tutu wins $1.7 million prize for promoting forgiveness and justice

April 4, 2013

(South African Archbishop and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu speaks in New Delhi February 8, 2012. Picture taken February 8, 2012. REUTERS/B Mathur)

South African anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu has won the 2013 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million for helping inspire people around the world by promoting forgiveness and justice, organizers said on Thursday.

A leading human rights activist of the late 20th century, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town played a pivotal role in the downfall of apartheid and subsequently worked to heal wounds in South Africa’s traumatized society.

Tutu, 81, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for standing up against white-minority rule. He remains a prominent campaigner for peace and human rights.

The Templeton award was announced as his friend and fellow Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela was fighting pneumonia in a third health scare in four months for South Africa’s first black president.

Established in 1972 by the late American-born investor and philanthropist John Templeton, the annual prize – worth more, in monetary terms, than the Nobel – honors a living person “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”.

“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 was quoted as saying in a statement released by the U.S.-based foundation.

“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.”

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