To recognize new scholarly publications that make significant contributions to the study of religion, the AAR presents Awards for Excellence every year. These awards honor works of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity and importance—books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted. Winners are awarded a $1,000 prize. View a list of past winners.
Awards for Excellence are given in four categories:
Competition for AAR Awards for Excellence is open to all books of distinction in the academic study of religion. An author’s membership in the AAR is not a necessary condition for successful participation. One award is given per category per calendar year, provided the critical number of books for consideration is received in that particular category.
A complete submission includes (1) a letter of nomination and (2) a copy of the nominated book mailed to the AAR office. A book may be nominated for more than one category given that a complete submission is received for each nomination. Partial submissions will not be considered by the juries. All correspondence regarding the competition and copies of all books nominated should be directed in the first instance to the AAR office listed at the address below.
Nominations may be submitted by any person, publisher, or institution with the exception of the competition chair and jurors. AAR especially encourages letters of nominations from colleagues and self-nominations.
A brief rationale should be enclosed with each nomination; this is considered the nomination letter. In which category should the work be considered? Why is the work outstanding in its field? How does it differ from established classics? How does the submission affect the way you approach research, consider a tradition, or construct your teaching? Letters of nomination may be sent by mail or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher-generated nominations must identify someone in their publishing house who will serve as contact. AAR will ask that additional copies be sent to jury members if the book is shortlisted for consideration.
If requested, publishers will often send a review copy to the AAR offices for the purposes of award consideration. A copy of each nominated book should be sent directly to the AAR office at the following address:
American Academy of Religion
Attn: Book Awards
825 Houston Mill RD NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
The next award cycle will open in December 2020.