The AAR Awards in Excellence recognize the importance of academic teaching, public service and faculty mentoring, and honors outstanding legacy bearers in each of these separate yet related fields. The award programs are as follows:
Awards for Excellence are given in four categories: analytical-descriptive, constructive-reflective, historical, and textual studies. The AAR also awards a prize for the Best First Book in the History of Religions and a Religion and the Arts Book Award.
Every year, the AAR honors the best in-depth reporting on religion through the Journalism Award. The contest is open to Best In-Depth Newswriting and Best In-Depth Multimedia Journalism. Winners receive: $500 (first place); $150 (second place); and $100 (third place).
The Distinguished Service Award is given to persons whose dedication and continuing efforts of service to the AAR have been exemplary.
The Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, established in 1996, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the public understanding of religion. The award goes to those whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks, not just to scholars, but more broadly to the public as well.
The AAR’s Religion and the Arts Award is presented annually to an artist, performer, critic, curator, or scholar who has made a recent, significant contribution to the understanding of the relations among the arts and religions, both for the academy and for a broader public.