Historian honored by Indiana Humanities Council

Author: Arts and Letters


University of Notre Dame historian George M. Marsden was one of six scholars to receive the inaugural Indiana Humanities Award from the Indiana Humanities Council at a ceremony last month in Indianapolis.

The award was established to recognize distinguished scholars in the humanities for their service in helping to advance and strengthen American culture, and whose writing, teaching and thought help prepare future humanistic leadership. The other recipients were Jean Bethke Elshtain from the University of Chicago, John Dittmer from DePauw University, William Placher from Wabash College, William Rowe from Purdue University and Scott Sanders from Indiana University. The honorees were selected by a committee of academic deans from Indiana colleges and universities.

One of the nation’s leading scholars of American religious history, Marsden is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History and the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on the history and present state of fundamentalism in America. His most recent book, “Jonathan Edwards: A Life,” garnered four national book prizes.

An expert on the history of Christianity in America, Marsden holds bachelor’s degrees from Haverford College and Westminster Theological Seminary, and master’s and doctoral degrees in American studies from Yale University. He taught at Calvin College and Duke University before coming to Notre Dame in 1992.

Marsden has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Freedom Trust and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

“Jonathan Edwards: A Life,” published by Yale University Press, won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, a Bancroft Prize from Columbia University,the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians, and the Annibel Jenkins Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. It also was named one of 10 “Books of the Year” for 2003 by Atlantic Monthly, one of eight “Best Religious Books of 2003” by Publishers Weekly, and one of 12 “Notable Religious Books of 2003” by religion reporter Richard Ostling of the Associated Press.

The Indiana Humanities Council is a non-profit organization that supports leadership, promotes education and nurtures the culture that will make Indiana internationally attractive and competitive.

Originally published by Susan Guibert at newsinfo.nd.edu on July 19, 2006.