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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

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

Constructive-Reflective Studies


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


Historical Studies

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

Textual Studies

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

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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