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Union University Dept of History

Department News

Annual History Lectureship Will Feature Prize-winning Author Philip Jenkins on October 1

Aug 22, 2013 -

Prize-winning author Philip Jenkins, a world-renowned authority on global Christianity, will speak at Union University on Tuesday, October 1, as the 2013 Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lecturer. Dr. Jenkins will first speak to the Union community at 1:40 p.m. on “The Lost History of Christianity” in Salon II of the Carl Grant Events Center. Professor Jenkins’s main presentation will be on “From Angels to Armageddon: The First World War as a Global Religious Revolution” at 7:15 p.m. in Union’s G. M. Savage Memorial Chapel. Both lectures are free and the evening lecture is open to the public.

Dr. Jenkins is the Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University and Co-Director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He is also the Emeritus Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, where he taught from 1980 to 2012. Educationally, he earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of Cambridge in 1978. Since 2003, Dr. Jenkins has lectured at more than 150 colleges, universities, and seminaries in North America and Europe.

As a scholar, Professor Jenkins has written 24 books and had some 120 book chapters and refereed articles published. Dr. Jenkins has received prizes and other honors on a number of occasions for the high quality of his scholarship. His monograph The New Faces of Christianity won the 2006 Theologos Award of the Association of Theological Booksellers for the year’s best academic book and the 2007 Christianity Today Book Award for the best work in the category of missions/global affairs. He was also the recipient of several prizes, including a 2003 Gold Medallion Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, for his work The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. The American Library Association’s Booklist magazine ranked three of his books, including Jesus Wars in 2010, The Lost History of Christianity in 2009, and God’s Continent in 2007, as top ten titles in religion for those years. Choice magazine listed his Decade of Nightmares as one of its outstanding titles for 2006. Dr. Jenkins won the Philip Klein Prize of the Pennsylvania Historical Association in 1997 for the best article published in 1995-1996 in the journal Pennsylvania History. In 1996, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences awarded Professor Jenkins its Outstanding Book Award for his work Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide; that same book also won him the 1996 Distinguished Scholar Award of the Crime and Delinquency Section of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Other books Dr. Jenkins has written include: A History of the United States (Fourth Edition, 2012); Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (2011); Images of Terror: What We Can and Can’t Know about Terrorism (2003); Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way (2001); The Cold War at Home: The Red Scare in Pennsylvania, 1945-1960; and A History of Modern Wales,1536-1990 (1992).

Professor Jenkins has made a number of media appearances over the past decade. He has participated in television news specials, CNN documentaries, a Discovery Times Channel documentary called Battle for Souls, and a History Channel special titled Time Machine: 70’s Fever. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Fresh Air, and on various British Broadcasting Corporation programs.