Gordon in the News: last updated 04/18/2012

Gordon College History Professor Wins National Book Award

January 11, 2012

Jo Kadlecek
Senior Writer
978.867.4752 (office); 732.744.6407 (cell)

WENHAM, MA—From nearly 400 titles submitted by 52 publishers, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide by Gordon College history professor Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard has been selected as one of only 15 to receive Christianity Today’s 2012 Book Award.

Published last March by Oxford University Press, Howard’s 272-page book explores the United States and Western Europe’s diverging religious paths to modernity. University of Notre Dame historian and author Mark Noll called Howard’s book, “a path-breaking exploration. For breadth of research, depth of historical insight, and timeliness of publication, God and the Atlantic is an unusually fine work.”

Christianity Today International—founded in 1956 by evangelist and former Gordon College trustee, Billy Graham—reaches over 2.5 million readers with its various publications, and editors at the monthly national magazine selected to its annual list books that, “offer insights into the people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission.”

On choosing God and the Atlantic for the history and biography category (which tied with Oxford University Press’s biography on Charles Hodge), CT editors wrote: “Howard’s elegantly written book adds 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 has mined the writings of a stunning variety of European intellectuals, conservative and liberal, who judged the American experience to be out of step with modernity."

A resident of Georgetown, MA, Howard is also the director of the honors program known as the Jerusalem & Athens Forum at Gordon as well as the author of Religion and the Rise of Historicism, and Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University, which was a winner of the Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2007.

“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 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.”


Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 38 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu


Tal Howard
tal book cover