Thomas Robbins Award and AASNR
The Thomas Robbins Awards For Excellence in the Study of New Religious Movements and the Association for the Academic Study of New Religions
The Thomas Robbins Awards for Excellence in the Study of New Religious Movements was established in 2002 by the late Thomas Robbins to recognize outstanding articles published in Nova Religio. Robbins was among the founders of the field of new religious movement studies, and took a keen interest in mentoring and supporting younger scholars. Prizewinners are selected by board members of the Association for the Academic Study of New Religions from articles appearing in each volume of the journal. All published articles are automatically entered into the competition. The Robbins Awards are presented annually for the two best articles in the previous volume of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. Awards are announced in November at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion at the Nova Religio reception. Notifications of the awards are also published in the third issue of each volume, generally published in February.
The Robbins awards are administered by the Association for the Academic Study of New Religions, Inc. (AASNR), an educational trust and a non-profit corporation under the Florida Corporations Not for Profit law set forth in Section 617 of the Florida Statutes to operate exclusively for charitable, historic and cultural purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. AASNR’s educational mission includes (but is not limited to) the following initiatives:
1) The encouragement of academic research in the field of new, alternative and minority religious movements across historical periods. This includes funding and presenting the Thomas Robbins Award for Excellence in the Study of New Religions, and the Helen Crovetto Award for Excellence in the Study of New Religious Movements with Ties to South Asia. The Crovetto Award is presented annually when there are relevant articles published in the previous volume of Nova Religio.
2) Once AASNR funding is established, this encouragement of scholarly research will include sponsoring occasional symposia and meetings in which academic research on new religions is presented and shared.
3) AASNR encouragement of academic research will also include individual grants for travel to academic conferences dealing with new and minority religions, and research into new and minority religions.
AASNR is set up also to provide financial support, as needed, to ensure the long-term publication of Nova Religio.
AASNR is administered by a Board of Directors, which meets as needed to decide policy and elect officers. Members of the current Board of Directors are: W. Michael Ashcraft, Marie W. Dallam, Eugene V. Gallagher, Scott Lowe, Phillip Charles Lucas, Timothy Miller, Rebecca Moore, Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Catherine Wessinger, Stuart A. Wright, and Benjamin E. Zeller The current officers are: Benjamin E. Zeller (President), Catherine Wessinger (Vice-President), and Rebecca Moore (Secretary).
AASNR has received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that any contributions are tax deductible. We hope that you will consider contributing to AASNR’s educational mission in support of research in the field of new and minority religions. Contributions can be sent to:
Association for the Academic Study of New Religions, Inc.
1085 Torchwood Drive,
DeLand, Florida 32724
Robbins Award Winners
Volume 6 (1st annual award) First Prize: David Cook, “Suicide Attacks or ‘Martyrdom Operations’ in Contemporary Jihad Literature” Second Prize: David Ownby, “A History for Falun Gong: Popular Religion and the Chinese State Since the Ming Dynasty”
Volume 7 (2nd annual award) First Prize: Hugh Urban, “The Beast with Two Backs: Aleister Crowley, Sex Magic and the Exhaustion of Modernity” Second Prize: Anne Hallum, “Ecotheology and Environmental Praxis in Guatemala”
Volume 8 (3rd annual award) First Prize: Adrian Ivakhiv, “In Search of Deeper Identities: Neopaganism and ‘Native Faith’ in Contemporary Ukraine” Second Prize: Martha Bradley, “Cultural Configurations of Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamous Communities”
Volume 9 (4th annual award) First Prize: E. Burke Rochford, Jr., and Kendra Bailey, “Almost Heaven: Leadership, Decline and the Transformation of New Vrindaban” Second Prize: Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd, “Accommodation and Reformation in The Family/Children of God”
Volume 10 (5th annual award) First Prize: Joylon Baraka Thomas, “Shûkyô Asobi and Miyazaki Hayao’s Anime” Second Prize: Lynn P. Eldershaw, “Collective Identity and the Postcharismatic Fate of Shambhala International”
Volume 11 (6th annual award) First prize (tied): Mark Sedgwick, “Jihad, Modernity, and Sectarianism” First prize (tied): Peter Staudenmaier, “Race and Redemption: Racial and Ethnic Evolution in Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy”
Volume 12 (7th award) First prize: Jon R. Stone, “Prophecy and Dissonance: A Reassessment of Research Testing the Festinger Theory” Second prize: Moojan Momen, “Millennialism and Violence: The Attempted Assassination of Nasir al-Din Shah of Iran by the Babis in 1852”
Volume 13 (8th award) First prize: Martin Lindhardt, “More Than Just Money: The Faith Gospel and Occult Economies in Contemporary Tanzania” Second prize: Matthew Kustenbauder, “Believing in the Black Messiah: The Legio Maria Church in an African Christian Landscape”
Volume 14 (9th award) First prize: Paul Brian Thomas, “Bible Lessons with Raël: On Religious Appropriation in ET-Inspired Religions” Second prize: Benjamin E. Zeller, “Extraterrestrial Biblical Hermeneutics and the Making of Heaven's Gate”
Volume 15 (10th award) First prize: Karline McLain, “Be United, Be Virtuous: Composite Culture and the Growth of Shirdi Sai Baba Devotion” Second prize: Joseph P. Laycock, “‘We Are Spirits of Another Sort’”: Ontological Rebellion and Religious Dimensions of the Otherkin Community
Volume 16 (11th award) First prize: Jennifer Scheper Hughes, “The Niño Jesús Doctor: Novelty and Innovation in Mexican Religion” Second prize: Kelly E. Hayes, “Intergalactic Space-Time Travelers: Envisioning Globalization in Brazil’s Valley of the Dawn”
Volume 17 (12th award) First prize: Bernard Doherty, “Sensational Scientology! The Church of Scientology and Australian Tabloid Television” Second prize: Benjamin Gatling, “The Guide after Rumi: Tradition and Its Foil in Tajik Sufism”
Volume 18 (13th award) First prize: Christopher James Blythe, “‘Would to God, Brethren, I Could Tell You Who I Am!’ Nineteenth-century Mormonisms and the Apotheosis of Joseph Smith” Second prize: Jaap Timmer, “Heirs to Biblical Prophecy: The All Peoples Prayer Assembly in Solomon Islands”
Volume 19 (14th award) First prize: Charles Sarno and Helen Shoemaker, "Church, Sect, or Cult? The Curious Case of Harold Camping’s Family Radio and the May 21 Movement” Second prize: Naomi Haynes, “‘Zambia Shall be Saved!’: Prosperity Gospel Politics in a Self-Proclaimed Christian Nation”