Events

2019 Annual Meeting, Nov 23-26

The 2019 Annual Meeting will be in San Diego, CA, November 23-26. Register Now!

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Calls for Papers:

Southeast
Deadline: October 1, 2019

Western
Deadline: October 1, 2019

Southwest
Deadline: October 15, 2019

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: January 20, 2020

Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion

In order to give recognition to new scholarly publications that make significant contributions to the study of religion, the American Academy of Religion offers Awards for Excellence. The Awards honor works of distinctive originality, intelligence, creativity and importance, books that affect decisively how religion is examined, understood, and interpreted. 

Awards for Excellence are given in four categories:

Constructive-Reflective Studies: Works of contemporary ethics, philosophy, interpretation, theology or analogous forms of critical reflection.

Historical Studies: Works that focus on the history of a particular religion or religions in a specific historical period or geographical area.

Analytical-Descriptive Studies: Works of analysis or theory that focus on religion as an object of enquiry or on its typical components, such as myth, ritual, or tradition.

Textual Studies: Works that focus on the analysis, interpretation, or translation of a particular text or group of texts in the study of religion.

Winners are awarded a $1,000 prize. Submission Deadline: February 10

Eligibility and Submission Information

Eligible titles must have publications dates between January 1 and December of the previous calendar year (e.g., books submitted by for consideration of the 2019 award must have publication dates between January 1 and December 31, 2018). The competition will not favor works of multiple authorship, reprints, or individual volumes in multivolume projects.  If such volumes are nominated, detailed justification is required in the covering letter (see below).

A complete submission includes (1) a letter of nomination and (2) a copy of the nominated book mailed to the AAR executive 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.

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; 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:

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

Letters of Nomination

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 bookawards@aarweb.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.

Jury Consideration Process

The jury evaluation process has two stages:

First, the chair of the jury screens all complete nominations to determine a shortlist of titles that will be considered by all the jury members. AAR requests review copies of shortlisted titles be mailed to those jurors in the spring of each year.

Second, juries for each of the four categories evaluate the books that have been screened by the chair. Members of the juries confer in June and July to make their final judgments.

Award Procedures

  1. The AAR president, upon consultation with the executive director and chair, appoints as jurors AAR members who have a broad grasp of religious studies, who are recognized for their expertise in one or more of its subfields, and whose fairness and critical judgment are widely respected in the profession. Jurors serve for two years, without compensation except for receiving copies of the short-listed books. Any juror who has been involved in the production of a book nominated for an award will be recused. Recommendations of persons who might serve as jurors may be made directly to the AAR Offices at nominations@aarweb.org.
     
  2. 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. The current value of each award is $1,000. One award is given per category per calendar year, provided the critical number of books for consideration is received in that particular category.
     
  3. 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. Winners will be notified formally by the AAR executive director or jury chair.
     
  4. After the awards have been announced, each 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, each winning author will be asked to supply a photograph of the author (preferably .png or .jpeg image) for use in announcing the awards at the Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting, in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and on the AAR website.
     

All correspondence regarding the competition and copies of all books nominated should be directed in the first instance to the AAR Offices:

American Academy of Religion
Attn: Book Awards
825 Houston Mill RD NE Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30329
USA
Phone: 404-727-3059
Fax: 404-727-7959
E-Mail: