Trinity Institute has named one grand-prize winner and two runners-up in its 44th National Theological Conference essay competition. This year’s theme was “Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference on Economic Equality.”

Willis Jenkins, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies, won first place for his essay, “Is Plutocracy Sinful?”

Honorable mentions were awarded to Scott Bader-Saye, professor of Christian ethics and moral theology and academic dean at Seminary of the Southwest, for “Closing the Gap: A Social Imaginary for the Common Good” and Amaryah Jones-Armstrong, a graduate student in theological studies at Vanderbilt University, for “The Spirit and the Subprime: Race, Risk, and our Common Dispossession.”

Trinity Institute asked essayists to discuss how to pursue God’s promise of abundant life against the backdrop of the global financial crisis. The three essays presented alternatives to the status quo that are consistent with Scripture, theological traditions, and contemporary understandings of human flourishing.

The first-place prize is $10,000; the runners-up will each receive $2,500. All three essays will be published in the February edition of Anglican Theological Review and the three winners will participate in a panel discussion at Trinity Church on Nov. 8. The discussion will be webcast at trinitywallstreet.org.

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