[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Egyptologist and cultural studies scholar Jan Assmann, author of From Akhenaten to Moses: Ancient Egypt and Religious Change (AUC Press, 2014), and his wife, literary and cultural studies scholar Aleida Assmann, have been awarded the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, for their writings, which promoted “sustainable peace and understanding among the peoples of the world.”
In its jury statement last month about Jan Assmann’s scholarly writing, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association’s board of trustees said: “His extensive scientific work has examined the relationship between religion and violence, the genesis of intolerance and the claim to absolute truth, all of which have made an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the willingness and capacity for peace held by religions in today’s global society.”
From Akhenaten to Moses traces religious change through the fundamental transformation from the abolition of polytheism to the introduction of monotheism, and looks at the potential for violence in monotheistic societies. Assmann’s contribution to the debate about the rise and character of ancient monotheism has been described by some experts as “groundbreaking” (Paul Sanders, Protestant Theological University).
The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade is one of the most significant cultural awards in Germany. Since 1950 the prize has been awarded to writers, philosophers, and scholars, both in Germany and abroad. Among them are Nobel literature laureates Hermann Hesse, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Orhan Pamuk. Last year, the prize was awarded to Margaret Atwood.
The award ceremony will take place in October 2018 during the Frankfurt International Book Fair.