King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
'To make a good one better': translating the Bible

Desmond Tutu

Pages 6-7 from: Desmond Tutu (ed). An African prayer book. New York: Doubleday, 1995 [Maughan Library BR1360 AFR] Copyright © 1995 by Desmond Tutu, Used with permission. All rights reserved.Former archbishop of Cape Town and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, Desmond Tutu was one of the leaders of the civil rights movement against apartheid in South Africa and chaired the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the 1990s.

Ordained an Anglican priest in 1961, he came to King’s College London in the following year and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in theology from the College. Tutu has spoken warmly of his time at King’s and was a visiting professor at the College in 2004.

Tutu is now the Chair of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights which was founded by Nelson Mandela (for more information about the Elders, see:

The African prayerbook, shown here, is a collection of African prayers selected and introduced by Tutu and interspersed with passages from the Bible. Designed for everyday private worship, it is split into thematic sections (‘Adoration’,‘Thanksgiving’ and so on), each section beginning with a short Biblical passage illustrating some of the Bible’s encounters with Africa.

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