Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards Winner Uses Science to Prove the Existence of God

Two works incorporating cutting edge science have won this year’s Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards in a tough field described by judges’ convenor, Adonia Wylie, as the highest in calibre since the awards began 12 years ago.
Canterbury Anglican Minister, Ron Hay (right), won the book category, for Finding the Forgotten God, published by Daystar Books. 
“...this work among other things provides in depth information regarding the recent advances made by science, advances that lead toward where the mystics have sat for thousands of years. It is in short, an original and valuable resource book and one that will stand the test of time,” says Ms Wylie. 
Rohana Ulluwishewa, an Honorary Research Associate at Massey University – Palmerston North, won the Unpublished Manuscript category for Spirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms
Ms Wylie says Mr Ulluwishewa’s work is mind blowing in its simplicity. 
“If one were to only read one book in one's lifetime, this is the one.  Its clarity, its cogent use of words, its ability to cover the most abstract of topics seamlessly while staying fully grounded, completely clear and coherent makes it a brilliant work.”
The winners of the awards each took home a $10,000 prize. They were announced at a ceremony in the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own building, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland City this evening. 
Ms Wylie says the extraordinarily high quality of both category works made the judging not only a very lengthy but difficult task.
“The genre itself is challenging and requires great intellect, an in-depth understanding of the subject, together with the ability to communicate clearly often very abstract ideas and philosophies.”
The winners were selected from 11 finalists; six in the book category and five in the unpublished manuscript category.
Ms Wylie says the finalists, each in their very different ways, were each accomplished in a clear, original, coherent and consciousness raising manner.  
“Choosing very different pathways and philosophies, yet while still fully addressing the overall genre they completed works that are not only capable of raising awareness, are uplifting and positive, sometimes challenging, but always professional. All the works are extremely informative and even passionate and on many levels make for educative, enlightening and rewarding reading.”
Awards director, Tim Eddington says the awards attract remarkable stories written by people from all walks of life and from all over New Zealand.
“This year’s winners include works by a former methamphetamine addict, a university professor, a monk, two vicars, a documentary film maker and a mental health commissioner.”
The awards are unique in the country for their encouragement of writing in the mind, body, spirit genre. 
The complete list of 2015 Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards winners (in order) are: 

Book Category
1. Ron Hay, for Finding The Forgotten God
2. Greg Hopkinson, for Boundless: A Wayward Entrepreneur’s Search for Peace
3. Julie Leibrich, for Sanctuary: The Discovery of Wonder
4. Michael Cocks, for Into The Wider Dream
5=  Janet Balcombe, forTake A Walk On the Wild Side 
5=  M. Thomas Fairs, for In Human Terms
Unpublished Manuscript Category
1. Rohana Ulluwishewa, forSpirituality Demystified: Understanding Spirituality in Rational Terms
2. Hugh Major, for From Monkey to Moth  An Imaginal Evolution
3. Keith Hill, for Clapping with two Hands
4. Dr Karlo Mila, for Mana Moana
5. Sue Reidy, for Small Steps to Happiness: A Guide to Enriching Your Life One Step at a Time.

The Winners of the 2015 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards will be announced at a ceremony in the Hopetoun Alpha Building, Beresford St, Auckland City from 6-8pm on Friday 14 August. Media are welcome to attend. 
To register your attendance, or for interviews with winners, or for more information, please contact:
Penny Hartill, director hPR 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz
Editor’s Notes

Ron Hay studied at Otago University and has post-graduate degrees in English literature and Theology. He was a secondary school English teacher for a number of years before entering the Anglican ministry. After 15 years as vicar of Sumner-Redcliffs parish in Christchurch, Ron took early retirement in order to devote time to writing. He has contributed book reviews, opinion pieces and a faith column to the Christchurch Press. Finding the Forgotten God is his first book. He lives in Castle Hill Village with his wife Liz. 
Rohana Ulluwishewa was an Associate Professor at the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Sri Lanka. After gaining a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, UK, he completed his PhD at Kyushu University, Japan. In his thirty years of academic career he has worked as Senior Lecturer at the University of Brunei, and was Visiting Fellow at Wageningen Agricultural University and Leiden University in the Netherlands, and at Leeds University, UK. He served as a consultant for many national and international development agencies and has published in numerous intenational journals. He was also an Honorary Research Associate at Massey University in New Zealand, where he currently lives. 
For further information about the Ashton Wylie Community Trust visit: www.awct.org.nz