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Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation




Professor David Ford has been awarded the 2012 Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation (second from left).  The presentation was made at Coventry Cathedral on 14 November by (left to right): the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth; the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Tim Sawdon; the Vice Chancellor of Coventry University, Professor Madeleine Atkins; and the Reverend Canon Tim Pullen, Acting Dean of Coventry.


The Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation was first awarded in 2000.  Its recipients have included local activists and senior diplomats.  In 2010, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, the prize was re-launched in a renewed partnership between Coventry Cathedral, the Lord Mayor’s Office, Coventry University and the Diocese of Coventry.  Nominees were sought from each of the partners and a short list submitted to a panel of judges.

The prize honours initiatives, organisations, individuals or projects that have made an exemplary contribution in working for peace and reconciliation, or in campaigns for social and environmental well-being. The prize is oriented to the grass-roots and local communities, rather than the international media or diplomacy and open to all irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or faith.
Those who are shortlisted are judged on the impact of their work as an inspiration and model for other initiatives. Specifically they will have made demonstrable, practical improvements to the well-being of communities, especially in conflict or post-conflict situations.


David Ford is the Director of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme. He is an Anglican theologian and Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, where he has taught since 1991. He is a Fellow of Selwyn College. Previously David taught for 15 years at the University of Birmingham. His work in the area of Christian theology has been inspired by post-liberal and narrative theology.


David is one of the founders of Scriptural Reasoning and has been extensively involved in generating new modes of engagement for inter-faith relations in the post-9/11 world. He is the author of (among others) Christian Wisdom: Desiring God and Learning in Love (2007) and co-editor of The Promise of Scriptural Reasoning (2006), and Fields of Faith: Theology and Religious Studies for the Twenty-First Century (2005).


Upon receiving the 2012 Peace Prize, David Ford said:

"It is a pleasure and an honour to receive this award. At the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme we work to broaden and deepen public religious literacy and to bring people together through 'partnerships of difference'.  We greatly appreciate the award's affirmation of our national and international work.  Coventry Cathedral is a building that means a great deal to me, I am delighted to receive the award and to hold a public dialogue with close colleagues."

David Ford with Bishop Christopher
at the the award ceremony


The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme (CIP) was founded in 2002 with a vision to draw together the highest order of international, inter-disciplinary scholars to address divisions between the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Programme's founding principles, which remain current, are:

CIP, working in partnership with the Coexist Foundation and others, is operational at a number of levels including the proposed establishment of a London Centre which will seek to enhance understanding of the Abrahamic faiths through every level of education.


Click here for the introduction to David Ford, given by Bishop Christopher.


Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, Mr. Jerry White, Prof David Ford
 and Senior Rabbi Alexandra Wright

Immediately after the ceremony David Ford was joined by three colleagues—a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew—for an inter-faith conversation, exploring themes of peace and reconciliation, drawing inspiration from their different religious texts:

  • Senior Rabbi Alexandra Wright serves at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, in St John’s Wood Road, London.
  • Dr. Aref Ali Nayed is the former Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates and is the Founder and Director of Kalam Research & Media (KRM).
  • Mr. Jerry White Deputy Director of the Bureau for Conflict Stabilization Operations in the US Department of State, who in 1997 shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in banning landmines.


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