Nasr Book Prize
The Ansari Institute's Randa and Sherif Nasr Book Prize on Religion & the World highlights the work of scholars who reimagine the connection of religion and global affairs.
Each year the prize, funded thanks to the generosity of Drs. Sherif Nasr and Randa Nasr, co-founders of siParidigm Diagnostic Informatics in Pine Brook, N.J., recognizes the winning author with a significant cash award. An annual symposium highlighting the year’s award-winning book facilitates important multifaith dialogue among scholars.
The Ansari Institute believes that recognition of a major book in this form will enhance the importance of the institute as a place for changing the conversation about religion. A symposium around each year’s award-winning book will generate new knowledge—indeed, perhaps even a new subfield—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.
The award is substantively well aligned with the Ansari Institute’s strategic plan. It will serve 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 will help 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 will reflect a kind of “fellowship of faiths,” as envisioned in the Ansari Institute’s strategic plan.
In order to be eligible for this award, a book must:
- Speak from a normative and authentic voice that aspires to be representative of a major religious tradition, recognizing that all traditions are internally diverse.
- 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.
- 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.
- Must have been published within the past five years. Earlier works that deserve recognition may be considered on an exceptional basis.
The award will follow an annual cycle that includes:
- Convening a committee of experts to select a book for the award
- Invitations to scholars to respond to the book in writing, with special attention to its faith-based aspect and its potential policy implications
- Organizing a symposium and award ceremony
- Publishing the proceedings online or in print
The first book award recipient will be announced at a symposium scheduled for Oct. 2-3, 2022 on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. More information will be forthcoming.