Book Award Juries

Duties and Responsibilities

Book Award jurors participate in the following:

  • The Book Awards consist of six categories: four award categories in the Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion, one award for the Best First Book in the History of Religions, and the Religion and the Arts Book Award. Jurors serve on just one of those six juries.
  • Jurors will read five to seven shortlisted books over the summer.

Meeting Schedule

Virtual meeting in summer via Zoom

Timeline of Activities

  • Late February: Online library of submissions available to each jury’s chair. Chairs may use this library, which includes full publication information (with book description/abstract) to make a first round of cuts if they wish.
  • Mid-March: Books identified as second-round picks by the chairs are mailed to them.
  • April 15: Jury chairs provide their shortlists of 5 to 7 books. AAR contacts publishers to have review copies sent to the remaining jurors.
  • May through July: Juries read shortlisted titles, and the chair arranges deliberations with jurors in whatever format they wish. AAR can provide tele- or videoconference services.
  • July 31: Chair notifies AAR of the winner with a short supporting brief.

Jury Members

  • Term of Service: Two years, renewable once for an additional two-year term (Prior to 2018: Four years, non-renewable)
  • Jury Composition: Six juries of up to four members each

Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion

Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Suzanne Owen1/1/202212/31/2022Chair
Leslie Dorrough Smith1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Oliver Freiberger1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Courtney Lamberth1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member

Constructive-Reflective Studies

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Valerie C. Cooper1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member
Catherine Cornille1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Douglas S. Duckworth1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Paul Hedges1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member

Historical Studies

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Diane Apostolos-Cappadona1/1/202112/31/2022Chair
Emily Bailey1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Ray F. Kibler, III1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Anna Sun1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member

Textual Studies

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Valerie Bridgeman1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member
Fatemeh Keshavarz1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member
Zhange Ni1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Andrew Quintman1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member

Best First Book in the History of Religions

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Archana Venkatesan1/1/202212/31/2023Chair
Wallace Best1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member
Juan Floyd-Thomas1/1/202112/31/2022Jury Member
Dianne Stewart4/30/202112/31/2022Jury Member

Religion and the Arts Book Award

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Dr. Lucinda Mosher1/1/202212/31/2023Chair
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan1/1/202212/31/2023Jury Member