From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Korean student wins Lombard Prize for study of Calvin and ecology

From "Franziska Surber" <>
Date Mon, 02 Nov 2009 15:44:49 +0100

>World Alliance of Reformed Churches
>News Release
>2 November 2009

Korean student wins Lombard Prize for study of Calvin and

A Korean theology student has won the 2009 Lombard Prize for his
study of the implications of John Calvin’s theology for the
current ecological and economic crisis.

Eun Young Hwang, a student at Yale University Divinity School in
the United States, was awarded the USD $1000 prize for his essay
examining today’s environmental crisis in light of Calvin’s image
of God and justice. 

Results of the essay competition were announced 30 October by
the World Alliance of Reformed Churches which coordinates the
annual competition on behalf of the Lombard Prize Committee.  The
award is named for the Genevan banker, Georges Lombard, who
served as WARC’s General Treasurer from 1948 to 1970.

To mark the quincentary of the birth of Calvin, the theme of the
competition was “What would Calvin Say? Responsible Stewardship
in the Face of Today’s Ecological and Financial Crisis”.  

In his essay, Eun Young Hwang describes the self-regulated
market as a “satanic mill” that transforms nature and human
beings into mere commodities. Eun writes that Calvin proposes an
alternate model where individuals and creation should be treated
as the “image of God”. 

Two candidates tied for second place. David Balázs Magyar
(Hungary) and Jean-Paul Agidi (Ghana) each receive USD $600.
Third prize winner Sobana Isac Samuel (India)  receives USD $300
for her entry.

WARC’s General Secretary Setri Nyomi says, “It is significant
that these awards are announced in connection with Reformation
Day. The ideas expressed in these essays indicate how much the
new generation of emerging young theologians are committed to
becoming renewal agents as the Reformers were.”

In paying tribute to the man for whom the award is named, Nyomi
says, “Georges Lombard was himself committed to making a
difference in the world. As WARC’s General Treasurer, he was a
remarkable leader in ensuring that WARC’s resources make a
difference in the world.”

Lombard’s daughter, Catherine Kuhn-Lombard, says she is
“delighted” with the results and with the question chosen for
the 2009 competition. 

“You couldn’t find a better theme, given the present state of
global warming and all it affects. If young theologians can think
about and help others to promote a better world, that meets the
very aim of the award: to encourage us to care, dare, share.”

Kuhn-Lombard says the family launched the award to honour their
father’s commitment to putting his faith into action. “My father
was concerned about the relationship between faith and material
goods and he put his beliefs into practice through the church and
through WARC.” 

Douwe Visser, who heads WARC’s theology office which administers
the competition says, “We congratulate the winners and are
grateful to the Lombard Darier Hentsch Bank for making the award

The essays were judged for their presentation of issues related
to today’s ecological and financial crisis and of biblical and
theological perspectives on those questions. 

Jury members included theologians from South America, Asia,
Europe, North America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Competition winners will receive their awards in Grand Rapids,
United States, in June 2010 at the Uniting General Council where
WARC will merge with the Reformed Ecumenical Council to form the
World Communion of Reformed Churches. 


The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) brings together
75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries -
united in their commitment to making a difference in a troubled
world. The WARC general secretary is Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi of the
Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. WARC's secretariat is
based in Geneva, Switzerland.

>Ms Kristine Greenaway
>Executive Secretary, Communications
>World Alliance of Reformed Churches
>150 Route de Ferney
>P.O. Box 2100
>1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
>tel.  +41.22 791 6243
>fax: +41.22 791 6505

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