Ansari Institute Book Prize

The Ansari Institute's Book Prize on Religion & the World highlights the work of scholars who reimagine the connection of religion and global affairs. The Prize was known as the Nasr Prize in its first two years, thanks to the generous support of Drs. Sherif Nasr and Randa Nasr.

Sherif Nasr speaks at the first Multifaith Symposium
Sherif Nasr speaks at the launch of the Ansari Institute's strategic plan

Each year, the Ansari Book Prize recognizes the winning author with a significant cash award. In addition, a multifaith symposium highlights the year’s award-winning book while also facilitating important dialogue among scholars from other faith traditions. Past award winners are Sandtalk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta which won in 2022 and Cathonomics: How Catholic Tradition Can Create a More Just Economy by Anthony Annett which won in 2023.

The Ansari Institute believes that recognition of a major book in this form creates an opportunity to change the conversation about religion by convening a multifaith symposium and by creation of edited volumes of scholarly articles that respond to the original book through their own faith traditions. Thus each book award, symposium, and edited volume is developed with the intention of generating new knowledge in which ancient wisdom, as transmitted to us in the form of the major religious and philosophical traditions of the world, can inform and even transform current debates. 

Tyson Yunkaporta and Carolyn T. Brown discuss his book Sandtalk
Tyson Yunkaporta and Carolyn T. Brown of the Fetzer Institute discuss his book at the first Multifaith Symposium.

The award is substantively well aligned with the Ansari Institute’s strategic plan and serves as an example of what the late scholar Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once described as religion’s capacity “to be a source of systemic and structural good in a manner that is relevant to global affairs.” Beyond the recognition and generation of scholarship, the award ceremony and symposium helps the Ansari Institute build a community of like-minded scholars that includes members of diverse faith traditions and commitments. Over time, the annual book award symposium is developing a “fellowship of faiths,” as envisioned in the strategic plan.



Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for this award, a book must:

  1. Speak from a normative and authentic voice that aspires to be representative of a major religious tradition, recognizing that all traditions are internally diverse.

  2. Be conversant with current “ways of knowing” about the world. In other words, the book must be academically informed by one or more of the academic disciplines in the humanities or the social or natural sciences.

  3. Engage one or more contemporary issues in global affairs, providing new ways to understand existing problems or identifying novel solutions to already well-defined problems.

  4. Be conducive to generating a wide-ranging multifaith conversation on 'the world as it should be."

  5. Must have been published within the past five years. Earlier works that deserve recognition may be considered on an exceptional basis.

Annual Award Cycle

Anthony Annett speaks at the second Multifaith Symposium
Anthony Annett speaks at the second Multifaith Symposium

The award will follow an annual cycle that includes:

  1. Convening a committee of experts to select a book for the award.

  2. Invitations to scholars to respond to the book in writing, with special attention to its faith-based aspect and its potential policy implications.

  3. Organizing a symposium and award ceremony.

  4. Publishing the proceedings online or in print.

Nominations for the award are currently being accepted through this form and will be accepted through May 31, 2024. Please contact if you have any addition questions.