Bionic ear inventor on shortlist for Christian Book of the Year
Bionic ear inventor Graeme Clark shortlisted, among the 10 authors shortlisted for the Australian Christian Book of the Year
By Stephen Cauchi
Bionic ear inventor Graeme Clark, historian John Harris and religion academic Richard Shumack are among the 10 authors shortlisted for the Australian Christian Book of the Year.
The awards are presented by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia, also known as SparkLit.
Professor Clark was shortlisted for his book I Want to Fix Ears: Inside the Cochlear Implant Story, Dr Harris for Judging the Macquaries: Injustice and Mercy in Colonial Australia, and Dr Shumack for Jesus Through Muslim Eyes.
Professor Clark told TMA he had been prompted to write the book because the Royal Society of London – of which he is a Fellow – required their Fellows to write a memoir.
“I just thought the time had arrived,” he said. “I had written many, many papers and chapters in books. There’s been a great need to understand in science the human element, not just what happened in the laboratory or in the operating theatre, but what goes on – what’s the drama.
“People think science is very objective and cool and dispassionate but it’s not. It’s a human enterprise.”
He said the book was both an autobiography and a story of the bionic ear.
Dr Shumack, an academic at the Centre for Public Christianity and the Melbourne School of Theology, specialises in Islam. He had previously been nominated for his work The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity.
He told TMA he was prompted to write Jesus Through Muslim Eyes after the publishers asked him to respond to a book written by Turkish-American journalist Mustafa Akyol.
Dr Shumack said that Mr Akyol had attempted to reconcile two Muslim views of Jesus – the standard Quranic view that He is a prophet, and the Sufi Islamic view that He is more than a prophet and worthy of devotion.
The Australian Christian Book of the Year award will be presented at the SparkLit Awards night on 2 September in Melbourne.
Also being presented that night are the awards for the Young Australian Christian Writer Award and Australian Christian Teen Writer Award.
Last year’s winner was Centre for Public Christianity research fellow Natasha Moore for her work For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than You Ever Imagined.
The shortlisted books are:
- Abundance: New and Selected Poems by Andrew Lansdown
- Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn’t by Stephen McAlpine (The Good Book Company USA)
- The Good Sporting Life: Loving and Playing Sport as a Follower of Jesus by Stephen Liggins (Matthias Media)
- Healing Lives by Sue Williams (Pan Macmillan Australia)
- How to Talk About Jesus (Without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World by Sam Chan (Zondervan Reflective)
- I Want to Fix Ears: Inside the Cochlear Implant Story by Graeme Clark (ISCAST)
- Jesus Through Muslim Eyes by Richard Shumack (SPCK)
- Judging the Macquaries: Injustice and Mercy in Colonial Australia by John Harris (Acorn Press)
- Talking Sex by the Book: Giving Kids a Bible-Based View of Identity, Relationships and Sexuality by Patricia Weerakoon (Youthworks Media)
- Western Fundamentalism: Democracy, Sex and the Liberation of Mankind by Gordon Menzies (Gordon Menzies)
For more information visit sparklit.org/awards or call Awards Coordinator Michael Collie on 0423 244 481.
- Read the full story in August’s TMA, available to subscribers from later this week and in churches on Sunday 1 August.