Home News AAR Awards Annual Book Awards

AAR Honors Five Authors in Its Annual Book Awards PDF-NOTE: Internet Explorer Users, right click the PDF Icon and choose [save target as] if you are experiencing problems with clicking. Print

The American Academy of Religion offers Awards for Excellence in order to give recognition to new scholarly publications that make significant contributions to the study of religion. 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: Analytical–Descriptive, Constructive–Reflective, Historical, and Textual Studies. Not all awards are given every year. More than one book may win an award in a given category. In addition, there is a separate competition and prize for the Best First Book in the History of Religions. For eligibility requirements, awards processes, and a list of current jurors, please see the Book Awards rules.

The AAR is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Awards for Excellence in Religion and the Best First Book in the History of Religions:

Analytical-Descriptive Studies


Amira Mittermaier. Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination. University of California, 2011.

Constructive-Reflective Studies


Willie James Jennings. The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race. Yale University Press, 2010.


Historical Studies


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


Textual Studies

Ross Shepard Kraemer. Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. Oxford University Press, 2011.  

Best First Book in the History of Religions

Andrew Nicholson. Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History. Columbia University Press, 2011.


This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.