The shortlist is out - ten finalists have been announced for Australian Christian book of the year.
Sparklit’s annual Australian Christian Book of the Year Award was announced on Thursday August 31 in Melbourne. Biblical Critical Theory written by Christopher Watkin and published by Zondervan Academic was declared the winner, and lifts up the Bible as a prism through which to understand and interpret contemporary Western culture.
The 2023 shortlist covered a broad range of topics including technology, government, leadership, the arts, childbirth, compassion, and suffering.
The shortlist of ten titles is as follows:
- Behind the Tears
Understanding, Surviving and Growing From Suffering
Bruce Robinson / Green Hill Publishing
- Biblical Critical Theory
How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture
Christopher Watkin / Zondervan Academic
- Bringing Forth Life
God's Purposes in Pregnancy and Birth
Jodie McIver / Youthworks Media
- Disrupting Mercy
The Gift of Extreme Kindness Motivated by Compassion
Matthew Clarke with Annabella Rossini-Clarke / Turning Teardrops into Joy
- How to Find Yourself
Why Looking Inward Is Not the Answer
Brian Rosner / Crossway
- Imagination in an Age of Crisis
Sounding from the Arts and Theology
Jason Goroncy & Rod Pattenden / Pickwick Publications
- Practicing Peace
Theology, Contemplation and Action
Michael Wood / Wipf and Stock
- Raising Tech-Healthy Humans
How to Reset Your Children's Tech-Habits and Give Them a Great Start to Life
Daniel Sih / Spacemakers
- Religious Freedom in a Secular Age
A Christian Case for Liberty, Equality and Secular Government
Michael Bird / Zondervan Reflective
- The Future is Bivocational
Shaping Christian Leaders for a Post-Christian World
Andrew Hamilton / Ark House Press
This year’s judging panel included Greg Clarke, author and former CEO of Bible Society Australia and a winner of Australian Book of the Year in 2014; Dr Meredith Lake, writer and broadcaster, host of Soul Search on ABC Radio National, and Catherine Place, a teacher, writer and tutor in Catholic education circles.
You can read judges’ comments for all shortlisted and winning works at sparklit.org/awards
Caleb MacLaren from Victoria won the 2023 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award. His screenplay The Journey uses the traumatic background of an alien apocalypse to showcase the relational strength of its adolescent protagonists.
Congratulations to the winners and all the shortlisted writers.