The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, awarded the 2011 Michael Ramsey prize to ‘Atheist Delusions’ by David Bentley Hart at a gala lunch at the Telegraph Hay festival on Friday.

Speaking about the winning entry, Dr Williams said it “takes no prisoners in its response to fashionable criticisms of Christianity”.

On receiving the prize David B Hart said: “Needless to say the honour is very great. For me, it lies especially in the name of the prize – as I have such a high regard for Michael Ramsey – and in its being conferred by the current Archbishop of Canterbury – whose work is among the richest theology being written in English today”.

In his book David B Hart outlines how Christianity transformed the ancient world in ways we may have forgotten: bringing liberation from fatalism, conferring great dignity on human beings, subverting the cruellest aspects of pagan society, and elevating charity above all virtues. He then argues that what we term the ‘Age of Reason’ was in fact the beginning of the eclipse of reason’s authority as a cultural value. Hart closes the book in the present, delineating the ominous consequences of the decline of Christendom in a culture that is built upon its moral and spiritual values.

Continue Reading on