Religion professor wins Grawemeyer Award in Religion

by Marketing & Communications,

Stephen Patterson, George H. Atkinson professor of religious and ethical studies, recently received a $100,000 prize and the 2020 Grawemeyer Award — an honor recognizing the most outstanding idea in religion, music composition, world order, psychology and education. 

Stephen Patterson

The University of Louisville and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary jointly give the prize. Previous winners of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion include Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Marilynne Robinson.

Patterson, who has authored or co-authored 10 books, said “the award came as a complete surprise” and is “quite overwhelming.” 

He was given the award for his 2018 book, “The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery and Sexism,” about an early baptismal creed embedded in one of the apostle Paul’s letters. The creed, possibly the earliest Christian creed, is a declaration of human solidarity spanning divisions of race, class and gender. Patterson shows how early followers of Jesus at first embraced the creed, but later abandoned it as too radical. He argues that Christianity needs this creed now more than ever. 

Tyler Mayfield, faculty director of the Grawemeyer Award and the A.B. Rhodes professor of Old Testament at Louisville Seminary, said “Patterson’s well-written book proposes a fascinating way to think about those earliest followers of Jesus and their radical notion of human solidarity.” 

Related Story

New dean keeps his ear to the ground and focus on the students

Brian Gallini takes on his role as dean of the College of Law.

Willamette University
Related Story

Curtis Bridgeman returns to law faculty

Bridgeman returns to the faculty after seven years in administration, serving as dean for the College of Law.

Willamette University
Related Story

Willamette awarded NEH CARES grant

$299,766 grant will support humanities programming in the CAS, museum and library.

A professor leans into a table in the World Languages Studio to provide instruction to two students

Back to Top