Dr. David Gushee Wins Georgia Author of the Year Award for The Sacredness of Human Life


ATLANTA – Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University, was recognized at the 50th annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) on June 7 at Kennesaw State University's KSU Center.

Dr. Gushee received the award in the Inspirational – Religious category for his book The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World's Future.

“I am grateful to the Georgia Writers Association for this recognition,” said Dr. Gushee. “It is my fond hope that the ideas in this book will receive the widest possible exposure, and I am hopeful that this award will help make that happen. And I am grateful to Mercer University for the time, and the freedom, to pursue my calling as a scholar.”

The Sacredness of Human Life, published by Eerdmans on Jan. 14, 2013, traces the titular concept from Scripture through church history to the present day. Dr. Gushee argues that viewing human life as sacred is one of the most precious legacies of biblical faith – albeit one that the church has too often failed to uphold. This lengthy scholarly work is also under consideration for the Grawemeyer Award in Religion – the most prestigious award in academic religious publishing – which is given annually by the University of Louisville.

A scholar, activist and churchman, Dr. Gushee has taught for 20 years in full-time and guest capacities and lectured in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and several other countries in Europe and South America. As Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, he teaches at McAfee School of Theology and throughout the University. As director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, he organizes events and courses to advance quality conversations about major issues arising at the intersection of theology, ethics and public policy.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of William and Mary, Master of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and both his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Dr. Gushee is also a senior columnist at APBNews/Herald and this year serves as theologian-in-residence for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He serves on the board of directors of Sojourners and as vice-chair of the board of the Public Religion Institute. He recently concluded many years of service on the Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he has taught a faculty seminar course.

He has published 18 books, with two more in development, and hundreds of essays, book chapters, articles, reviews and opinion pieces.

The Georgia Writers Association assumed responsibility for the GAYA shortly after the association's founding in 1994. The awards were first given in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. Commercially and independently published authors from Georgia are eligible for nomination. This year's GAYA included over 100 nominees among 11 categories.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​