‘The Love that is God’ is announced as the Winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize 2023

The Love that is God: An Invitation to the Christian Faith by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt has been named the winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize 2023. The author receives £15,000 and was presented with a medal by the Archbishop of Canterbury at a ceremony held at Lambeth Palace Library, London on Thursday 14th December. 

The event was hosted by Elizabeth Oldfield and featured speeches from Paula Gooder, the chair of the judges, and the two runners up Chine McDonald and Amy Orr Ewing who each received £5,000.

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt will also be delivering The Michael Ramsey Prize lecture series touring the UK and USA in 2024 on the topic of The Love that is God: An Invitation to the Christian Faith. To find out more sign up to our updates.

“Love is so characteristic of the divine that we are warranted in saying that the God in whom we believe is love.”

The Love that is God, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt

Discover the winning book

 “God is love is the radical claim of Christianity,” writes Frederick Bauerschmidt at the beginning of this little meditation on the essentials of Christian faith. In a rich yet accessible style reminiscent of C. S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton, Bauerschmidt breathes life back into that claim, drawing from Scripture, great Christian and non-Christian writers of the past, and his own lived experience to show just how countercultural and subversive Christianity is actually meant to be.

Read more about the book here

About the Author

“When I was writing ‘The Love That Is God’, I thought a lot
about not just what I wanted to say, but also how I wanted to say it; I wanted to write something for a wide audience that was neither simplistic nor condescending in tone. Winning the Michael Ramsey
Prize is particularly gratifying, since it suggests that I succeeded in writing something that was both accessible and made a contribution to the life of the church”.

— Frederick Christian Bauerscmidt
Winner of the 2023 Michael Ramsey Prize

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt is professor of theology at Loyola University Maryland and a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, assigned to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

Awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury

“I am delighted to award this prize to a book that embodies the heart of Christian faith. ‘God is love’ is a timeless message that drives us deeper into Gods arms and outwards to love others, as Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt expertly unpacks. I am grateful to all the immensely talented writers who featured in the prize this year and greatly enjoyed the wide array of excellent writing on the shortlist.”

— Justin Welby
The Archbishop of Canterbury

Dr Amy Orr-Ewing author of Where Is God In All The Suffering, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, author of the winning book The Love That Is God and Chine McDonald, author of God Is Not A White Man, photographed at the prize giving ceremony for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2023 at the Lambeth Palace Library.
The three shortlisted titles for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2023

What our judges said:

“This book seeks to spark our imaginations into what it means to live as people who believe that God is Love.  Using love as its start, middle and end-point the book takes us on a journey through some of the best writers on Christianity, from Catherine of Siena to Dorothy Day, from John Chrysostom to Martin Luther King Jr, and in doing so shines new light on the mystery of God’s love.”

— Paula Gooder
Chair of Judges for the 2023 Michael Ramsey Prize

The judges chose The Love that is God to win from the three shortlisted titles (which had been selected by a panel of readers from over 110 entries). Find out more about our judging panel here.

Left to right: Canon Dr Paula Gooder, The Revd Cathrine Ngangira, The Rt Revd Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon, The Revd Dr Mark Oakley and The Rt Revd John Harvey Taylor, Bishop of Los Angeles – the Judges for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2023 at the prize giving reception.

More praise for The Love that is God :

“this is a book that takes us back to the raw basics of our faith and restores hope in the cruciform God of Love of whom it speaks so eloquently.”
— Sarah Coakley

“He has written an extraordinary account of love to help us understand better what we are doing when we say we believe in God. In doing so he has avoided the great enemies of any attempt to write about love—that is, sentimentality and rationalism. His chapter on friendship alone is worth the price of the book. I cannot help but believe that this book is destined to become a classic.”
— Stanley Hauerwas
Duke Divinity School

“In his compelling and well-written book, Bauerschmidt seeks to revitalize the affirmation that ‘God is love itself.’ His argument will resonate especially with those who struggle to see how Christianity matters in this postmodern world. He shows how this love is actualized in the death and resurrection of Jesus, a love shared by the friends of Jesus who gather in Spirit-created communities of care and service. Bauerschmidt’s is a persuasive apologetic for the power and practicality of the core Christian message.”
— Richard Peace
Fuller Theological Seminary