Events

2014 Annual Meeting, Nov 22-25

Join friends and colleagues in sunny San Diego, November 22–25, for the 2014 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings. Registration is now open! Super Saver discounts end May 22.

2014 Annual Meetings Brochure 

Additional Meetings Reservations

Reserve space today for your reception, editorial board meeting, business meeting, or breakfast/lunch gathering at the 2014 Annual Meetings in San Diego. Make the reservation by May 9 to get the best room placement!

2014 Regional Meetings

Support your region and plan to attend your 2014 regional meeting. Online registration is open for these regions:

Eastern International
Deadline: May 3

New England-Maritimes
Deadline: April 26

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: May 9

Anti-Judaism and Its Implications Symposium

To be held April 27 at Colby College. Cosponsored by the AAR New England-Maritimes Region.

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Book Awards

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. These 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. In addition, there is a prize for the Best First Book in the History of Religions.

The awards are chosen by the Book Awards Jury. To see the list of jury members, please see here.

For eligibility requirements and awards processes, please see the appropriate page:

Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion

Best First Book in the History of Religions

The Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion and the Best First Book in the History of Religions are given each year during the Annual Meeting.   

AAR Book Award Recipients

2013

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Anna Fedele
Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France
Oxford University Press, 2012

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Jeffrey L. Kosky
Arts of Wonder: Enchanting Secularity – Walter De Maria, Diller + Scofidio, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy
University of Chicago Press, 2012

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Historical Studies
       
 

Christian K. Wedemeyer
Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in the Indian Traditions
Columbia University Press, 2012

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Textual Studies
       
 

Emily T. Hudson
Disorienting Dharma: Ethics and the Aesthetics
of Suffering in the Mahabharata

Oxford University Press, 2012

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Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

A. Azfar Moin
The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship
and Sainthood in Islam

Columbia University Press, 2012

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2012

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Pamela E. Klassen
Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing,
and Liberal Christianity

University of California Press, 2011

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Elliot R. Wolfson
A Dream Interpreted within a Dream:
Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination

Zone Books, 2011

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Historical Studies
       
 

Thomas A. Tweed
America’s Church: The National Shrine
and Catholic Presence in the Nation’s Capital

Oxford University Press, 2011

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Textual Studies
       
 

David M. Freidenreich
Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing
Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law

University of California Press, 2011

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Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Ronit Ricci
Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion,
and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia

Chicago University Press, 2011

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2011

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Amira Mittermaier
Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes
of the Imagination

University of California, 2011

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Willie James Jennings
The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins
of Race

Yale University Press, 2010

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Historical Studies
       
 

Johan Elverskog
Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011

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Textual Studies
       
 

Ross Shepard Kraemer
Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History
in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean

Oxford University Press, 2011

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Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Andrew Nicholson
Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History
Columbia University Press, 2010

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2010

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Kimberley Christine Patton
Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity
Oxford University Press, 2009

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Mark Johnston
Saving God: Religion after Idolatry
Princeton University Press, 2009

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Historical Studies
       
 

Robert Ford Campany
Making Transcendents: Ascetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China
University of Hawai’i Press, 2009

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Textual Studies
       
 

Benjamin D. Sommer
Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel
Cambridge University Press, 2009

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Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Joseph Kip Kosek
Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy
Columbia University Press, 2009

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2009

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

G. John Renard
Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment,
and Servanthood

University of California Press, 2008

 

       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Andrew F. March
Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus
Oxford University Press, 2008

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Historical Studies
       
 

Stuart B. Schwartz
All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation
in the Iberian Atlantic World

Yale University Press, 2008

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Textual Studies
       
 

Shaul Magid
From Metaphysics to Midrash: Myth, History, and the Interpretation of Scripture on Lurianic Kabbala
Indiana University Press, 2008

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Best First Book in the History of Religions (Co-winners)
       
 

Benjamin Lazier
God Interrupted: Heresy and the European Imagination between the World Wars
Princeton University Press, 2008

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Christian Lee Novetzke
Religion and Public Memory: A Cultural History
of Saint Namdev in India

Columbia University Press, 2008

 

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Best First Book Shortlist:

Rachel Wheeler
To Live Upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the 18th Century Northeast, Cornell University Press, 2008

M. Cecilia Gaposchkin
The Making of Saint Louis: Kingship, Sanctity and Crusade in the Later Middle Ages, Cornell University Press, 2008

Mark David Baer
Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe, Oxford University Press, 2008

   

2008

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Leor Halevi, Vanderbilt University
Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making
of Islamic Society

Columbia University Press, 2007

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University
After God
University of Chicago Press, 2007

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Historical Studies
       
 

Benjamin J. Kaplan, University College, London
Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice
of Toleration in Early Modern Europe

Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007

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Textual Studies
       
 

Wendi L. Adamek, Barnard College
The Mystique of Transmission
Columbia University Press, 2007

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Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Emma J. Anderson, University of Ottawa
The Betrayal of Faith: The Tragic Journey of a Colonial Native Convert
Harvard University Press, 2007

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2007

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

David Frankfurter, University of New Hampshire
Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy
and Satanic Abuse in History

Princeton University Press, 2006

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

John D. Caputo, Syracuse University
The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event
Indiana University Press, 2006

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John Clayton (deceased), Boston University
Compiled by Anne Blackburn and Thomas Carroll
Religions, Reasons, and Gods: Essays in Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Religious Traditions, 2006

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Historical Studies
       
 

Catherine Albanese, University of California, Santa Barbara
A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion
Yale University Press, 2006

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Caroline Walker Bynum, Institute for Advanced Study
Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006

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Textual Studies
       
 

Kristofer Schipper, Library of the Western Belvedere and Franciscus Verellen, École Française d'Extrême-Orient, eds.
The Taoist Canon:A Historical Companion to the Daozang
University of Chicago Press, 2004

book cover  
 

 

   
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Leela Prasad, Duke University
Poetics of Conduct: Oral Narrative and Moral Being in a South Indian Town
Columbia University Press, 2006

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2006

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
    

Jonathan Z. Smith
Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion
University of Chicago Press, 2004

 

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Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Dan Arnold
Buddhists, Brahmins, and Belief: Epistemology in South Asian Philosophy of Religion
Columbia University Press, 2006

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Daniel Boyarin
Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Ebrahim Moosa
Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination
University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

 

2005

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Syracuse University
Diaspora of the Gods: Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World
Oxford University Press, 2004

 

       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Robert A. Orsi, Harvard Divinity School
Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars who Study Them
Princeton University Press, 2004

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Sylvester A. Johnson, Florida A&M University
The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God
Palgrave Macmillian Press, 2004

 

2004

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

David H. Brown, Smithsonian Institution
Santería Enthroned: Art Ritual and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion
University of Chicago Press, 2003

 

       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Jeffrey Stout, Princeton University
Democracy and Tradition
Princeton University Press, 2004

 
       
Historical Studies  
       
 

Alan Bray
The Friend
University of Chicago Press, 2003

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Edward Slingerland, University of Southern California
Effortless Action: Wu-wei Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal of Early China
Oxford University Press, 2003

 

2003

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Paul Christopher Johnson, Princeton University; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Missouri, Columbia
Secrets, Gossip, and Gods: The Transformation of Brazilian Candomblé
Oxford University Press, 2002

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Susan Neiman, Einstein Forum, Potsdam,
Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy
Princeton University Press, 2002

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Norman J. Girardot, Lehigh University
The Victorian Translation of China: James Legge's Oriental Pilgrimage 
University of California Press, 2002

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Ananda Abeysekara, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Colors of the Robe: Religion, Identity, and Difference
University of South Carolina Press, 2002

 

2002

Constructive-Reflective Studies
           
 

Ariel Glucklich, Georgetown University
Sacred Pain: Hurting the Body for the Sake of the Soul
Oxford University Press, 2001

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Grant Wacker, Duke University
Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture
Harvard University Press, 2001

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Mary Keller, University of Stirling
The Hammer and the Flute: Women, Power, and Spirit Possession
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002

 

2001

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Susan Friend Harding, University of California, Santa Cruz,
The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics 
Princeton University Press, 2000

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Peter S. Hawkins, Boston University
Dante's Testaments: Essays in Scriptural Imagination 
Stanford University Press, 1999

 
       
 

J. J. Clarke, Kingston University
The Tao of the West: Western Transformations of Taoist Thought 
Routledge, 2000

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Leigh Eric Schmidt, Princeton University
Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment
Harvard University Press, 2000

 
       
 

Jacqueline I. Stone, Princeton University
Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism
University of Hawai'i Press, 1999

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Jason David Beduhn, Northern Arizona University, The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and Ritual 
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000

 
       
 

Jonathan Klawans, Boston University
Impurity and Sin in Ancient Judaism
Oxford University Press, 2000

 

2000

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Bruce Lincoln, University of Chicago
Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship
University of Chicago Press, 2000.

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

David Novak, University of Toronto
Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory
Princeton University Press, 2000.

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Sally M. Promey, University of Maryland
Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent's Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library
Princeton University Press, 1999.

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Robert Baum, Iowa State University
Shrines of the Slave Trade: Diola Religion and Society in Precolonial Senegambia
Oxford University Press, 1999.

 

1999

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
Prisoners of Shangri-La:  Tibetan Buddhism and the West
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Elizabeth A. Johnson
Feminist Theological Reading of the Communion of Saints
New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 1998.

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

David Frankfurter
Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Charles D. Orzech
Politics and Transcendent Wisdom:  The Scripture for Humane Kings in the Creation of Chinese Buddhism
University Park:  Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.

 

1998

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Manuel A. Vasquez
The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Thomas A. Tweed
Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami
New York: Oxford University Press, 1997

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Lionel M. Jensen
Manufacturing Confucianism: Chinese Traditions and Universal Civilization
Durham: Duke University Press, 1997

 

1997

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

David Chidester
Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa
Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Edward Farley
Divine Empathy: A Theology of God
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Bernadette J. Brooten
Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996

 
       
 

Michael A. Sells
The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Stephen R. Prothero
The White Buddhist:  The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

 

1996

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds.
Fundamentalism Project, 5 vols.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991-1995

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

Van A. Harvey
Feurbach and the Interpretation of Religion
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Steven Wasserstrom
Between Muslim & Jew: The Problem of Symbiosis under Early Judaism
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Jeffrey J. Kripal
Kālī's Child:  They Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teaching of Ramakrishna
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995

 

1995

Analytical-Descriptive Studies
           
 

Susan Starr Sered
Priestess, Mother, Sacred Sister: Religions Dominated by Women
New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

 
       
Constructive-Reflective Studies
       
 

William Dean
The Religious Critic in American Culture
Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994

 

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Gordon Kaufman
In the Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993

 
       
Historical Studies
       
 

Elliot R. Wolfson
Through a Speculum that Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994 

 
       
Best First Book in the History of Religions
       
 

Devin DeWeese
Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde: Baba Tukles and Conversion to Islam in Historical and Epic Sikh Tradition
University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994

 

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Harjot Oberoi
The Construction of Religious Boundaries: Culture, Identity and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition
Chicago and Oxford: University of Chicago Press and Oxford University Press, 1994

 

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1994

Analytical-Descriptive Studies              

Theophus H. Smith
Conjuring Culture: Biblical Formations of Black America
New York: Oxford Univrsity Press, 1994

            Constructive-Reflective Studies          

Mark C. Taylor
Nots
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993

            Historical Studies (co-winners)          

David L. Haberman
Journey Through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna
New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

Patrick Olivelle
The Asrama System: The History of Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution
New York: Oxford University Press, 1993

1993

      Constructive-Reflective Studies

Ian Barbour
Religion in an Age of Science and Ethics in an Age of Technology
Gifford Lectures, 1989–1991, volumes 1 and 2
HarperCollins, 1990, 1993

      Historical Studies (Co-winners)

Juan Eduardo Campo
The Other Side of Paradise: Explorations into the Religious Meanings
of Domestic Space in Islam

University of South Carolina Press, 1991

Evelyn Brooks Higgenbotham
Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880–1920
Harvard University Press, 1993

      Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Nancy Jay
Throughout Your Generations Forever: Sacrifice, Religion, and Paternity
University of Chicago Press, 1992

1992

      Constructive-Reflective Studies

Nancey Murphy
Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning
Cornell University Press, 1990

      Historical Studies

John Clifford Holt
Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Tradition
of Sri Lanka

Oxford University Press, 1991

      Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Caroline Walker Bynum
Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body
in Medieval Religion

MIT Press, 1991

1991

      Constructive-Reflective Studies

Mieke Bal
Murder and Difference: Gender, Genre, and Scholarship on Sisera’s Death
Indiana University Press, 1988

      Historical Studies

Paula Sutter Fichtner
Protestantism and Primogeniture in Early Modern Germany
Yale University Press, 1989

      Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Howard Eilberg-Schwartz
The Savage in Judaism: An Anthropology of Israelite Religion
and Ancient Judaism

Indiana University Press, 1990

1990

      Constructive-Reflective Studies

David Chidester
Salvation and Suicide: An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the People’s Temple, and Jonestown
Indiana University Press, 1988

      Historical Studies

Bruce B. Lawrence
Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt against the Modern Age
Harper and Row, 1989

      Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Robert Detweiler
Breaking the Fall: Religious Reading of Contemporary Fiction
Harper and Row, 1989

1989

      Historical Studies

Sallie McFague
Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age
Fortress Press, 1987

      Analytical-Descriptive Studies

Ivan Strenski
Four Theories of Myth in Twentieth Century History: Cassirer, Eliade,
Levi-Strauss, and Malinowski

University of Iowa Press, 1987

      Reflective Studies

Mark C. Taylor
Altarity
University of Chicago Press, 1987

1988

Claude Welch
Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century, Volume II
Yale University Press, 1985

Eugene Rice
Saint Jerome in the Renaissance
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985

Norman Petersen
Rediscovering Paul: Philemon and the Sociology of Paul’s Narrative World
Augsburg Fortress Press, 1985

Masao Abe
Zen and Western Thought
Macmillan Press, 1985

1987

Wayne Meeks
The First Urban Christians
Yale University Press, 1983

John Van Seters
In Search of History
Yale University Press, 1983

Wayne Proudfoot
Religious Experience
University of California Press, 1985

Merold Westphal
God, Guilt, and Death
Indiana University Press, 1987