Religion and the Arts Book Award


Established in 2019 through generous funding and support from Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, this award recognizes new scholarly publications that make significant contributions to the study of religion and the arts. The winner is awarded a $1,000 prize and recognized in a variety of AAR publications. The award is given only if a sufficient number of titles for the jurors to consider has been submitted. View past award recipients.


To be eligible for consideration, books must meet the following criteria:

  • The book must be in the field of "Religion and the Arts"
  • The book must have a publication date in the two previous calendar years preceding the award year (e.g., books eligible for the 2021 award must have publication dates between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020)
  • Works of multiple authorship, reprints, or individual volumes in multivolume projects are not eligible for consideration 
  • No proof copies, bound or unbound, will be considered

Competition for the Religion and the Arts Book Award is open to all books that meet the above eligibility requirements. An author's membership in the AAR is not necessary for consideration. Self-nominations, nominations by colleagues or publishers, or nominations from jury members are accepted. 

Submission Instructions

A complete submission includes (1) a letter of rationale and (2) a copy of the nominated book that is either mailed to the AAR office or submitted digitally through the submission form or. Partial submissions will not be considered. All correspondence regarding the competition and copies of all books nominated should be directed to [email protected].

Books submitted for this award may also be submitted to any of the Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion and/or the Best First Book in the History of Religions. Each submission must include a separate letter of nomination and copy of the book.

Nominate a Book

Letters of Rationale

A brief rationale should be enclosed with each nomination. 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 rationale are submitted via the nomination form. Publisher-generated nominations must identify someone in their publishing house who will serve as contact.

Copies of Nominated Books

A print or digital copy of the nominated book is required for each submission. AAR will ask that additional copies be sent to jury members if the book is shortlisted for consideration. Books should be mailed to the following address:

American Academy of Religion
Attn: Religion and the Arts Book Award
825 Houston Mill RD NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Selection Process

  • The chair of the Religion and the Arts Book Award Jury conducts an initial screening of all complete nominations to determine a shortlist of titles to be considered by all jury members. AAR requests review copies of shortlisted titles be mailed to the jurors in the spring of each year. Jurors then evaluate the books that have been screened by the chair. Members of the jury confer in June and July to make their final judgments. 
  • Results are declared in late summer and will be announced in the Program Book of the AAR Annual Meeting, in a subsequent issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and on the AAR website. The winner will be notified formally by the AAR executive director or jury chair. 
  • After the awards have been announced, the winning publisher will be asked to send not later than September 15 three cloth copies of the book to the AAR Executive Offices for use in promoting the award. In addition, the winning author will be asked to supply a photograph (preferably .png or .jpeg image) for use in announcing the award in the Program Book of the AAR Annual Meeting, in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and on the AAR website.

Annual Deadline

2023 TBD

Award Amount