Desmond Tutu, former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, has won the Templeton Prize, the Templeton Foundation announced this morning. Known for his transformative opposition to aparteid, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. He went on to lead the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, advocating “restorative justice” for the human rights violations of the aparteid regime. In 2007 he helped form The Elders, a group of global leaders such as former President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who work for world peace and human rights.
Tutu is the author of numerous books, including No Future without Forgiveness (Image) and God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations (HarperOne).
The Templeton Prize “honors a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” according to a statement from the foundation. Others honored include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Billy Graham. It has been the world's largest annual monetary award for the past 40 years, currently valued at $1.7 million. A celebration of the prize will take place April 11 in Cape Town at St. George’s Cathedral, where Tutu served as archbishop from 1986 to 1996. The prize will be formally presented to Tutu in London on May 21.