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[GreenYes] The Sophie Prize for 2002
- Subject: [GreenYes] The Sophie Prize for 2002
- From: "Reindl, John" <Reindl@co.dane.wi.us>
- Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 10:24:02 -0500
My apologies for the length, this is for your information about the recent
award of an international prize for environmental work.
The Sophie Prize is given out annually for outstanding environmental
achievement working towards a sustainable future. Established by author
Jostein Gaarder and his wife Siri Dannevig, the prize is named after his
best-selling book "Sophie's World". Awarded since 1998, it includes a cash
award of $100,000. Below is the annoucement of this year's winner, some
background material with a list of past winners and contact information.
John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI
PRESS RELEASE: T h e S o p h i e P r i z e 2 0 0 2
Oslo, Norway, April 11th 2002
His All Holiness Bartholomew Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome And
Ecumenical Patriarch is the winner of the Sophie Prize 2002
The Norwegian Sophie Prize 2002 is awarded to one of the worlds most
prominent religious leaders, His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of
Constantinople, New Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch. The jury and board of
the Sophie Foundation underline his pioneering efforts in linking faith to
the environment. "His leadership has managed to raise the environmental
awareness of 300 million members of Orthodox Churches and challenged
religious leaders of all faiths to do the same", says Chairperson Elin Enge
of the Sophie Foundation.
This year's Sophie Prize Winner has been awarded the prize for his spiritual
and practical ecumenical leadership in the protection and healing of the
Earth. Known as the "Green Patriarch", His All Holiness has taken lead among
all religious leaders in his concern and active care for the environment.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken out against injustice and
inequity, challenging the present economic globalisation, that widens the
gap between rich and poor and leads to excessive consumption.
Background Notes His All Holiness is the 270th successor to the Apostle St.
Andrew, and the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christian faithful
worldwide. After ascending the Ecumenical Throne in 1991, he has helped the
Church to expand on many fronts. Through his vision of spiritual revival
expressed through active mobilisation for justice and peace, he has
contributed to the realisation that the Orthodox Church is, today, one of
the fastest growing Churches in the world.
His Holiness is profoundly committed to the protection of the natural
environment and sees this concern as a natural outgrowth of his role as
religious and spiritual leader. He has challenged peoples of faiths to
reflect on their obligations towards nature. Believing that caring for the
earth is essential to faith itself. "To commit a crime against a natural
world is sin", he has stated. He has established September 1st as a day of
prayer throughout the Orthodox world for the protection of the natural
Lack of Justice and Over-consumption Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew points
to the link between justice and equity and the protection of the natural
environment. "If justice is identified with correct understanding, it
becomes immediately apparent that the contemporary acute ecological problem
has its root precisely in the lack of justice". "Consuming the fruits of the
earth unrestrained, we become consumed ourselves, by avarice and greed ".
This is the warning from the Patriarch of Constantinople.
"By reducing our consumption, termed in Orthodox Theology "encratia" or
--self-control-- we come to ensure that resources are also left for others
in the world. As we shift our will we demonstrate a concern for the third
world and developing nations".
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has boldly spoken out against many
political leaders that undermine the Kyotoagreement, describing their
actions as: " self-centred behaviour, a symptom of our alienation from one
another, and from our common existence".
Building bridges His All Holiness has a truly global perspective, but is
highly critical of the current economic globalisation process. This is
reflected in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos 1999, where he
stated that globalisation widens the gap between the rich and the poor and
undermines non-economic values such as survival and culture. "Gloüˇ–sation
as a means of making humanity homogenous, of influencing the masses and
causing a single, unified and unique mode of thought to prevail, will find
us opposed", he warned. He promises to rally "progressive" forces for a
globalisation that encourages diversity, respect, unity and Cupertino.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate sits at the crossroads of East and West and has
been actively engaged in fostering a dialogue between the Christian and
Islamic worlds. His All Holiness has taken a lead role in attempts to curb
conflicts in the name of religion. During the Balkan crisis, he made
valuable contributions towards reconciliation and peace. Since the tragedy
of the 11th September 2001, His All Holiness has tirelessly addressed the
need to foster inter-faith communication, condemning terrorism and violation
of human rights. He has recently met with President G. W. Bush addressing
the need to advance the understanding between religions.
Jury prize awarding grounds
The Jury of the Sophie Foundation has decided to grant the Sophie Prize
2002 to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of
Constantinople and New Rome, on account of:
* His pioneering efforts in linking faith to the environment, thus
reminding all people of faith of their direct responsibility to protect the
* His spiritual and practical environmental leadership, managing to
raise the environmental awareness of 300 million faithful of the Orthodox
Church worldwide and challenging religious leaders of all faiths to do the
* His tireless efforts to bring attention to both rights and
obligations, criticising both the overconsumption in the first world
countries and the lack of justice that causes growing inequity in developing
The Norwegian Minister of Environment, Mr BÝrge Brende, will hand over the
Sophie Prize to the Prizewinner, at a Ceremony in Oslo, June 12th, 2002.
About the prize and the Sophie Foundation The Sophie Prize, which is one of
the world's most generous environment and development Prizes (US $ 100,000),
is international and it is awarded annually. The Sophie Prize is established
to inspire people working towards a sustainable future. The Prize was
established in 1997 by the Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and his wife
The Sophie Prize will for as long as the means allow, be awarded to one or
several individuals, or to an organization, that in a pioneering or a
particularly creative way has pointed to alternatives to the present
development and/or put such alternatives into practice.
The following individuals or organisations have formerly received the Sophie
1998 - Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria)
1999 - Herman Daly (USA) and Thomas Kocherry (India)
2000 - Sheri Liao (China)
2001 - ATTAC (France)
For further information, please contact:
The Sophie Foundation's secretariat,
Director Anette Langtvet,
Phone: +47 22 87 01 00
Fax: +47 22 87 00 99
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Web site: www.sophieprize.org <http://www.sophieprize.org/>
Committee Chairperson Elin Enge
Phone: +47 22 03 76 40
Prize winner's web site: www.patriarchate.org <http://www.patriarchate.org/>
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