2017 Annual Meeting, Nov 18-21

Plan to join your colleagues in beautiful Boston for the 2017 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings. Advance rates end August 24. Register today!

Registration and Housing
General Information
Hotels and Transportation
Employment Center
Online Program Book
Tours and Workshops
Travel Visa Statement
Advertiser Information
Twitter: #aarsbl17

2018 Regional Meetings

The following Call for Papers is open:

Southwest (SWCRS)
Deadline: October 15

2017 National Humanities Conference

Register by October 27 for the NHC conference in Boston.


AAR Best First Book in the History of Religions Award

Call for Nominations

Nomination Deadline: February 10

The AAR History of Religions Jury invites nominations for Best First Book in the History of Religions Award. Established by the American Council of Learned Societies in 1891, this award is now administered by the American Academy of Religion.

This award honors exceptional scholarship and eligible books must meet four criteria:

  1. The nomination must be the first book published by the nominee.
  2. It must be in the field of "History of Religions" (in the broad sense that it raises historical and/or comparative methodological questions in the field of religion).
  3. It must have a publication date within the calendar year preceding the award year.
  4. The nominated book must be written by a single author.

The winner is honored at the AAR Annual Meeting, acknowledged in AAR publications, and is presented with a cash award. The Jury also recognizes a small number of shortlisted books for their excellence (see the AAR website). For a list of prior award winners, see here.

A committee of three, appointed by the President of the American Academy of Religion, adjudicates the books nominated for the award. The nomination process is initiated by individual presses, who send copies of the nominated book to the AAR offices, with a letter stating that the book meets the four criteria mentioned above. Presses may also include statements of the merits and special features of the book.

One (1) copy of the book and the letter of nomination should be sent to the AAR offices by February 10:

American Academy of Religion
Attn: Best First Book Award
Suite 300
825 Houston Mill RD NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Further copies may be requested at a later date.

The Book Jury Chair will screen nominations to determine which books should be considered by the Jurors. The Chair will then contact the publishers to request shipment to the appropriate Jurors. The Jurors will then evaluate the books and make their final judgments in June and July.

Competition for the Best First Book in the History of Religions is open to all books that meet the above eligibility requirements. An author's membership in the AAR is not a necessary condition for successful participation. The current value of the award is $1,000.

After the award has been announced, the publisher will be asked to send no later than September 15 two 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 of the author (preferably .png or .jpeg image) for use in announcing the award at the Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting, in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and on the AAR website: