Michael Cook, University Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, has been awarded the 2014 Holberg Prize. A British Academy Corresponding Fellow, Professor Cook also gave the 2013 British Academy Annual Lecture in February 2013 on Islamic Fundamentalism. He is the first British Holberg Prize Laureate.
The Holberg Prize noted that Professor Cook's scholarship “is marked by a keen sense of Islam as a living moral and legal tradition. He has demonstrated how this rich and complex body of thought provides resources for understanding important contemporary issues and reveals new perspectives on the relationship between religion, politics, and law.”
The Holberg Prize is named after Ludvig Holberg, who was born in Bergen in 1684 and held the Chairs of Metaphysics and Logic, Latin Rhetoric and History at the University of Copenhagen. Holberg played an important part in bringing the Enlightenment to the Nordic countries. Awarded for outstanding contribution to research in the arts and humanities, social science, law or theology, the Holberg Prize amounts to approximately €538,000. The prize may be awarded both for work within a particular academic discipline and for work of a cross disciplinary nature. The prize winner must have had a decisive influence on international research.