recognition of the role played by Leonard Arrington and Father Francis
Paul Prucha in Western American religious history, the Charles Redd
Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University funds this $500
cash prize for the best essay of the year on religious history in the
West. The cash prize and a plaque are awarded to the author and a
certificate is awarded to the publisher. No time period, geographic
restrictions, or questions of religious persuasion apply.
To be eligible, articles must have appeared in the prior year in a journal, magazine, or edited volume. Any WHA member, as well as the publisher or author of the essay, may nominate an essay. A copy of the journal, an offprint, or a photocopy must be submitted to each member of the award committee listed below.
Leonard James Arrington
(b. July 2, 1917, Twin Falls, ID and d. Feb. 11, 1999, Salt Lake City,
UT)) was an American author, academic and the founder of the Mormon
History Association. Educated at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, and earlier at the University of Idaho, he is known as the
"Dean of Mormon History" and "the Father of Mormon History" because of
his many influential contributions to the field.
Francis Paul Prucha (1921-2015) U.S. Indian Policy historian Francis Paul Prucha was the twenty-second historian to serve as President of the Western History Association . He served from 1982 to 1983. The author of numerous articles and reviews and over twenty books on Indian policy including American Indian Policy In The Form ative Years: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts, 1780-1834 (1962), Indian Policy in the United States : Historical Essays (1981), and Atlas of American Indian Affairs (1990), Father Prucha is perhaps best known for his comprehensive work The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians (1984). In 1985 The Great Father was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and received the Organization of American Historians (OAH) Ray Allen Billington Prize for best book in American frontier history.
2016 | Louis S. Warren for "Wage Work in the Sacred Circle: The Ghost Dance as
Modern Religion," The
Western Historical Quarterly (Summer 2015).
2015 | Brent Rogers for "A 'Distinction Between Mormons and Americans': Mormon Indian Missionaries, Federal Indian Policy, and the Utah War," Utah Historical Quarterly ( Fall 2014) .
2014 | Kristine Ashton Gunnell for "The Daughters of Charity as Cultural Intermediaries: Women, Religion, and Race in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles," U.S. Catholic Historian 31, No. 2 (Spring 2013).
2012 | Becky Mathews for “Changing Lives: Baptist Women, Benevolence, and Community on the Crow Reservation, 1904-1980,” Montana the Magazine of Western History (Summer 2011).
2011 | Dave Hall for “A Crossroads for Mormon Women: Amy Brown Lyman, J. Reuben Clark, and the Decline of Organized Women‘s Activism in the Relief Society,” Journal of Mormon History (2010).
2010 | Joshua Paddison for "Anti-Catholicism and Race in Post-Civil-War San Francisco,” Pacific Historical Review (Fall 2009).
2009 | Michael Masatsugu for "'Beyond This World of Transiency and Impermanence': Japanese Americans, Dharma Bums, and the Making of American Buddhism during the Early Cold War Years,” Pacific Historical Review (August 2008).
2008 | Anne M. Butler for “The Invisible Flock: Catholicism and the American West,” in Catholicism in the American West: A Rosary of Hidden Voices, ed. Roberto R. Treviño and Richard V. Francaviglia, (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007).
2007 | Raymond A. Bucko, S.J. for “St. Peter the Aleut: Sacred Iconography and the Iconography of Violence,” Boletín: The Journal of the California Mission Studies Association (2006).
2006 | Anthony Mora for “Resistance and Accommodation in a Border Parish,” Western Historical Quarterly (Autumn 2005).
2005 | Matthew J. Grow for “The Whores of Babylon and the Abomination of Abominations: Nineteenth-Century Catholic and Mormon Mutual Perceptions and Religious Identity,” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture (March 2004).
2004 | Rolf Swensen for “Pilgrims at the Golden Gate: Christian Scientists on the Pacific Coast, 1880-1915,” Pacific Historical Review (May 2003).
2003 | Douglas Firth Anderson for “Protestantism, Progress, and Prosperity: John P. Clum and Civilizin’ the U.S. Southwest, 1871-1886,” Western Historical Quarterly (Autumn 2002).
2002 | Gary R. Entz for "Zion Valley: The Mormon Origins of St. John, Kansas,” Kansas History (Summer 2001).
2001 | Anne M. Butler for "Western Spaces, Catholic Places,” U.S. Catholic Historian (Fall 2000).
2000 | Steven M. Avella for "The Catholic Church as Urban Booster in Sacramento, California, 1886–1928,” Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia (Spring and Summer 1999).
1999 | Howard A. Christy for “Weather, Disaster, and Responsibility: An Essay on the Willie and Martin Handcart Story,” BYU Studies 1997-1998.
Sponsors and Partners