Ebor Lectures Essay Competition 2018

'Religion in the Public Sphere'

Two prizes are offered for the best academic essays on the concept of ‘religion in the public sphere’. The prizes are being offered by the ecumenical sponsors of the Ebor Lectures and the competition is open from 31 May – 31 October 2018.

The applicant’s essay can be on any aspect of ‘religion in the public sphere’, i.e. how religion may contribute to society or how it engages with public concerns such as politics, economics, contemporary culture, globalisation, sexuality, gender, human rights and the environment.

Examples of topics approached from the perspective of religion in the public sphere can be found by looking at the list of past Ebor lectures or by looking at the suggested themes below.

Suggested themes

This is not an exhaustive list of themes, and candidates can submit an essay on a theme not identified in this list providing it addresses the ways in which religion may engage with public issues.

Environment and Ecological Crisis
Gender Issues
Human Rights
Animal Rights
Crime and Punishment
Peace and Conflict
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Social Justice
Restorative Justice and Reconciliation
Genetic engineering

Example Essay Titles - For Entrants in the 18 & Under Age Category Only

1. How did restorative justice contribute to South Africa’s reconciliation process and what lessons can be drawn from it?

2. Can Religious Education help promote understanding and peace between religious communities?

3. Choose a religious-based Non-Governmental Organisation involved in providing humanitarian aid and relief (e.g. Catholic Relief Service, Islamic Relief). Discuss and evaluate the role of this NGO in relation to peace building.

4. It is claimed by some that the ‘just war’ tradition has been rendered obsolete in the age of nuclear weapons. Discuss.

These titles reflect the theme of this year’s lectures which is ‘Peace and Reconciliation’ but they are only examples. Other titles and themes may be addressed.

Entry age categories and prizes

The competition is open from 31 May – 31 October 2018 in two age categories: 18 and under and 19 - 25.

The winner of the 18 and under category will be awarded a prize of £300, whilst the winner of the 19 - 25 category will receive a prize of £500.

Essay formatting and submission

Essays should follow the usual conventions of academic style (referencing, avoidance of plagiarism, etc.), and (not including the bibliography) should not exceed 2,000 words for those 18 and under, and 4,000 words for those 19-25.

Essays should be submitted to events@yorksj.ac.uk in a Word-compatible format by no later than 31 October 2018. All entries must be submitted with a short covering letter including a brief biography (2-3 lines), date of birth, contact email address, postal address and telephone number.

Judging the prize

The prizes will be awarded by a judging panel appointed by the steering group of the Ebor Lectures. The judging panel reserves the right not to award the prize. In judging, the panel will be looking for essays that engage with the topic of ‘religion in the public sphere’ in a lively and original way.

Please note: whilst we ask entrants to provide their names and contact details, all essays will be assessed anonymously

The winning essays will be published on the website of the Ebor Lectures, and possibly, subject to suitability and peer-review, in a future printed collection of Ebor Lectures or other publication.

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