1991 – John Harwood Hick

Dr. John Harwood Hick, Danforth Professor and Chairman of the Department of Religion at Claremont Graduate School (California), is the 1991 award winner. He is also Director of the James A. Blaisdell Programs in World Religions and Cultures at Claremont.

Based on his 1986-87 Gifford Lectures, Professor Hick, in “An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent,” has produced a lucid and comprehensive interpretation of religions as diverse, culturally-conditioned responses to divine reality. The book, published by Yale University Press in 1989, offers a cogent defense of the basic religious affirmation of the transcendent.

In a remarkably clear way, Dr. Hick weaves together ground-breaking insights on a wide range of religious traditions, including those of ancient Egypt and Greece, as well as contemporary Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Through out the presentation Hick argues for the essential trustworthiness and rationality of religious experience in all its rich diversity in our pluralistic world as witness to divine reality.

This volume is based on scrupulous research shared in a style that will make it easily accessible to a wide audience. Hick’s understanding of the different ways various people have experienced the same transcendent reality provides a basis for increased cooperation and interfaith dialogue around the world.