Georgetown resident Thomas "Tal" Howard has been selected to receive the Christianity Today 2012 Book Award.
The Gordon College history professor's book, "God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide," was one of only 15 selected from a pool of nearly 400 titles by 52 publishers.
Published last March by Oxford University Press, Howard's 272-page text took top spot in Christianity Today's history and biography category. It explores the United States and Western Europe's diverging religious paths to modernity.
Christianity Today's editors describe Howard's book as adding "depth and clarity to a question that has long confounded Americans and Europeans: Why has religion become an influential political force in America even though it was stripped of formal political stature?"
Howard mines the writings of a wide variety of European intellectuals, both conservative and liberal, which have ultimately concluded that the American experience is out of step with modernity.
"This award for his important book reinforces what we at Gordon have long known: Tal is an exceptionally productive scholar and astute observer of culture and ideas," said Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent. "His latest book rekindles interest in some relatively forgotten American and European thinkers, offering new, richly textured perspectives on religion in American and European civic life."
Howard is also the director of the honors program known as the Jerusalem & Athens Forum at Gordon. He is the author of "Religion and the Rise of Historicism" and "Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University," a winner of the Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2007.
Founded in 1956 by evangelist and former Gordon College trustee Billy Graham, Christianity Today International reaches over 2.5 million readers and is touted for offering "insights into the people, events and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought and mission."