Mansfield Prize 2022 – Tinne Claes and Yuliya Hilevych

Tinne Claes and Yuliya Hilevych Aiding Marital Childlessness: Christian Religious Responses to Husband and Donor Insemination in Belgium and Britain, 1940–1980*

The judges were impressed by the sophistication of this study as a model of its kind, that shows how comparative study of responses, in this case of Belgium and Britain, can throw into question traditional assumptions about an important, but understudied issue. The authors show that marital childlessness provides a valuable touchstone for challenging assumptions about religion, social change, and reproductive technology. It carefully documents the diversity and evolution of religious teaching between 1940 and 1980 about a sensitive human and ethical issue, related to artificial insemination.

The authors are to be congratulated for their carefully documented and well argued exploration of an issue that tends not to attract wide public attention.

Once again, my congratulations

Constant Mews, chair, Mansfield Prize selection committee, March 2023.