2017 Gutenberg Teaching Award for Musa Dube

Mainz University honors African theologian for her inclusion of the subject of HIV/AIDs on the curriculum, her work on African Bible studies, and her promotion of young scholars

4 August 2017

The 2017 Gutenberg Teaching Award goes to the African theologian Professor Musa Dube of the University of Botswana in recognition of her services to the further development of academic teaching. Thanks to Dube, the topics of HIV and AIDS, both subjects that are still taboo in Africa, are included as part of the curriculum of theological education. Through her book publications, she has also contributed to the development of a specifically African discipline of Bible studies. She is also receiving the award for her commitment to the promotion of up and coming young researchers. "Professor Musa Dube is one of the leading African experts on the New Testament. We are very pleased that she will be coming to Mainz for the presentation of the Gutenberg Teaching Award and will also be teaching two courses here together with theologians from our university," stated Professor Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The award is worth EUR 10,000 and will be presented by representatives of the Gutenberg Teaching Council (GTC) of Mainz University during its DIES LEGENDI. It was first presented in 2014.

Musa Dube, born in Botswana in 1964, studied theology at the University of Botswana and Durham University in the UK and later obtained her doctorate at Vanderbilt University in the USA. She has worked as a lecturer since 1997. In 2003, she was appointed to a professorship at the University of Botswana. She undertook interim activities as a theological consultant of the World Council of Churches and as an assistant professor at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

As a commissioner for HIV/AIDS for the World Council of Churches, she has been working towards introducing an HIV/AIDS-relevant curriculum into theological education. Dube has also published several books and has contributed essays and papers to academic journals and anthologies. In addition, she has compiled materials on the subject of HIV/AIDS for use in religious service and community work. Today she is recognized as one of the leading African experts on the New Testament. She has contributed significantly to ensuring that the work being done in the field of Biblical exegesis in Africa is widely published and acknowledged. "Professor Musa Dube has thus ensured that the academic self-awareness of African lecturers and students has been enhanced," emphasized ProfessorMatthias Pulte, the Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology and Protestant Theology at Mainz University. "Her hermeneutic approach has emancipated the African school of exegesis from its post-colonial shackles once and for all."

Professor Musa Dube is also one of the leading representatives in the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. This network is considered one of the greatest success stories of theological self-organization and promotion and mentoring of young scholars on the African continent.

Dube has already received various awards for her work in connection with HIV/AIDS. She is also the recipient of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as well as the Mentor Award of the Society of Biblical Literature. The Gutenberg Teaching Award honors her services with regard to the promotion of an HIV/AIDS-relevant curriculum, African Bible studies, and the advancement of young scholars. "Professor Musa Dube is a theologian with an ecumenical outlook who is respected in both Protestant and Catholic communities. We are very excited that our faculty is now establishing contact with one of Africa's leading theologians and we look forward to cooperation on an intercultural, exegetic, and practical theological level," said Professor Andreas Hildebrandt, Director of the Gutenberg Teaching Council. "The contextual approach of Bible reading as developed by Musa Dube will open up radical new routes of access to the Christian body of traditions to our students and teach them to read through the eyes of others," added Pulte.

The 2017 Gutenberg Teaching Award is the fourth to be presented. The first Gutenberg Teaching Award was given in 2014 to German Studies scholar Professor John Greenfield of the University of Porto for his development of international Master's programs. In 2015, Professor Masaaki Suzuki, the founder and director of the Bach Collegium Japan, was the winner of the award for his teaching work that transcended subject and cultural boundaries. In 2016, Nobel Prize winner Professor Carl Edwin Wieman received the award for his approach to knowledge transfer in connection with the subject-specific and methodological training of Bachelor's degree and teaching degree students.