Monica Caro | February 9, 2017
The Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame has awarded the 2017 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies to Anna Grzymała-Busse for her book “Nations Under God: How Churches Use Moral Authority to Influence Policy,” published by Princeton University Press.
A. James McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, praised Grzymała-Busse’s scholarship, noting, “This is a remarkable book. It will fundamentally change the way scholars assess the power of churches in European democracies.”
The Nanovic Institute awards the prize annually to the author of the best book in European studies that transcends a focus on any one country, state or people to stimulate new ways of thinking about contemporary Europe as a whole, recognizing alternately books in the humanities and in history and the social sciences. This cycle considered books in history and the social sciences published in 2014 and 2015.
Sir Christopher Clark, Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge and previous Shannon prize recipient, described the $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize as “a major landmark in the world of humanities research and publishing” in the Anglophone world. The jury commended Grzymała-Busse’s book, stating: “‘Nations under God’ is an outstanding accomplishment of historically grounded and carefully contextualized comparative political science. Its richness of range and detailed empirical command are no less impressive than its conceptual and methodological sophistication. Together they make an exceedingly rare combination, appealing to historians and political scientists alike, while leaving scholars across the disciplines in its debt. Shining a carefully focused light on a remarkably neglected subject — the complex, variable relationship of religion to politics — Grzymała-Busse captures a patently important question of contemporary social and political life, develops a sophisticated research strategy for its investigation and delivers outcomes that are as fascinating and suggestive substantively as they are compelling methodologically. The case studies are ambitiously chosen and brilliantly carried off.”