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Hastings Prize in Religion

The Hastings Prize is a $500.00 cash award for the paper exhibiting the most astute “philosophical interpretation of religion” written in departmental courses. Faculty members nominate papers and the entire department determines the winners of the award. Competition is open every year, but awards may not be granted every year.

The donor, Frederick R. Hastings, was a Colorado Springs architect who endowed the fund in 1900 with the intent of supporting the department’s mission of promoting the academic study of religion. We have honored that intention by awarding the Hastings Prize to essays of the highest quality, covering a broad range of topics and employing a variety of methods in the interpretation of religious beliefs and practices.

Recent Winners:

Taylor Diepenbrock, "A Measure of Māyā: Delusion and Power in the Bhagavad Gītā, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, and Śaṅkara's Commentaries" 
Evan Hanks, "Space, Speech, and the Apophatic Movement in Vedic Literature" 

Sean Michael Hyun Kwo, "Process Metaphysics in an Age of Skepticism" 

Eliza Brennan-Pratt, "Journey of Faith: Self, Community, and Transcendent Cause"

Caroline Kupiec, “God as Affirming the Positive Value of Dynamic Materiality”
Hannah Heckman, “Women Saints and the Impossibility of Salvation in Hinduism”

Kylie Birnbaum, “Indeterminate Nature: A Process Theodicy”

Annie Kelvie, “Creativity and the Life of God”

Tara Menon, “'In Perfect Tune with Krishna': Bhakti, Lila and the Aesthetic Experience as a Means to Salvation"
Kathryn Cox, “Ashvamedha: The Great Vedic Horse Sacrifice”

Gregory Lestikow, “Living and Dying for the Cause: Self-Sacrifice in the Nicaraguan Revolution”

Jared Pruch, “Sacrifice and Wilderness: An Exploration of the Logic and Language of Sacrifice in the American Environmental Movement”

Susan Bjork, “In Praise of Sophia: The Impact of Personified Wisdom on Contemporary Christian Feminist Theology”

Historic Winners:

Mr. G. A. West, "The Character of Jesus"
Miss Emma Riggs, "The Ultimate Criterion of Faith"
Miss Mozelle Anderson, "The Seat of Authority in Religion"
Miss Ruth F. Londoner, "The Religious Ideal of George Eliot" (Honorable Mention)