Link to University of Virginia Press

Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies

A Biennial Award Honoring Excellence in Scholarship

Every two years, the society grants an award for the “Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies.” The award, which carries an honorarium of $500, alternates between two categories, theology/philosophy and history/ethnography, and covers a four-year period. Books nominated for the prize must be published between July 1 in the first year and July 1 in the last year of the cycle.

The next prize cycles will be:
History/Ethnography, 2017-2021 – To be announced at the 2022 annual meeting
Theology/Philosophy, 2019-2023 – To be announced at the 2024 annual meeting

Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies

(Theology/Philosophy), 2015-19

The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies is pleased to announce the winner of its Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies (Theology/Philosophy) award for 2015–2019. The award goes to Francis X. Clooney, S.J.’s, Reading the Hindu and Christian Classics: Why and How Deep Learning Matters (University of Virginia, 2019). Congratulations to Fr. Clooney.

The society will hold a panel discussion celebrating this book at its November 2021 meeting in San Antonio. This session was postponed from the 2020 meeting because of the pandemic.

Congratulations are due as well to the other finalists for this award: Ankur Barua, Debating ‘Conversion’ in Hinduism and Christianity (Routledge, 2015); Holly Hillgardner, Longing and Letting Go: Christian and Hindu Practices of Passionate Non-Attachment  (Oxford University Press, 2016); Ayon Maharaj, Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018); Michelle Voss Roberts, Body Parts: A Theological Anthropology (Fortress Press, 2017).

We would like to extend a special “thank you” to the Book Award Committee that served for this award: Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (chair), Lancaster University; Reid Locklin, University of Toronto; Stephanie Corigliano, Humboldt State University; Sthaneshwar Timalsina, San Diego State University.

Nominations Now Being Accepted

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017–2021 Selva J. Raj Book Award in Hindu–Christian Studies (History/Ethnography). Please email nominations to Nate Roberts, University of Göttingen, chair of the current Book Award Committee.

At the society’s annual meeting in November 2021, the Book Award Committee will announce a shortlist of books under consideration. In late winter 2022, the committee will announce the winner. The award will be presented at a special session of our November 2023 Annual Meeting. This session will also feature a panel discussion of the book with the author invited as respondent.

Past Winners

Winners of the Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies award in past years include those listed below. The society extends its ongoing appreciation to the authors for their extraordinary contributions to scholarship in this field.

2013-2017 (History/Ethnography), Nathaniel Roberts, To Be Cared For: The Power of Conversion and Foreignness of Belonging in An Indian Slum (University of California Press, 2016).Link to publisher.
2011-2015 (Theology/Philosophy), Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Divine Self, Human Self: The Philosophy of Being in Two Gita Commentaries (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013).Link to publisher.
2009-2013 (History/Ethnography), David Mosse, The Saint and the Banyan Tree: Christianity and Caste Society in India (University of California Press, 2012).Link to publisher.
2008-2011 (Theology/Philosophy), Michelle Voss Roberts, Dualities: A Theology of Difference (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).Link to publisher.
2006-2008, Chad Bauman, Christian Identity and Dalit Religion in Hindu India, 1968-1947 (Eerdmans, 2008).Link to publisher.
2003-2005, Eliza F. Kent, Converting Women: Gender and Conversion to Christianity in Colonial South India (Oxford University Press, 2004).Link to publisher.
2000-2002, Corinne Dempsey, Kerala Christian Sainthood: Collisions of Culture and Worldview in South India (Oxford University Press, 2000).Link to publisher.
1997-1999, Julius J. Lipner, Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The Life and Thought of a Revolutionary (Oxford University Press, 1999)Link to publisher.
1994-1996, Francis X. Clooney, Seeing Through Texts: Doing Theology among the Srivaisnavas of South India (State University of New York Press, 1996)Link to publisher.
1991-1993, Diana L. Eck, Encountering God: A Spiritual Journey From Bozeman to Banaras (Beacon Press, 1993)Link to publisher.