Distinguished Article Award

Purpose: To recognize the most outstanding article published by a SSSR member or members within the previous calendar year according to the citation date. For the 2024 award, only articles with citation dates in calendar year 2023 are eligible.

Qualifications: An article may be nominated by the editor of the journal in which it appeared, by its author, or by any other SSSR member deeming it to be of outstanding quality. Articles must have been published in peer–reviewed journals. Submissions published solely in edited volumes will not be considered.

Eligibility NEW: Individual submissions should be limited to no more than one solo-authored article and one multi-authored article on which the same person is lead author. 

Criteria: The committee will judge each article's quality of scholarship, importance to the field, and relevance to the larger society. Any article involving some aspect of the scientific study of religion is eligible.

Award: The award will be presented at the annual meeting. It includes a plaque and $1000.

Procedures: Nominated articles must be submitted in electronic format via the online submission portal by April 1, 2024.


Paul Djupe, (Denison University), Chair

Laura Krull, (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Sultan Tepe, (University of Illinois, Chicago)

Kevin Dougherty (Baylor University)



2023 David Eagle, Collin Mueller, "Reproducing Inequality in a Formally Antiracist Organization: The Case of Racialized Career Pathways in the United Methodist Church," American Journal of Sociology, March 2022, Volume 127, Number 5, pp. 1507 – 1550

2022 Gary J. Adler, Jr., Selena E. Ortiz, Eric Plutzer, Damon Mayrl, Jonathan S. Coley, and Rebecca Sager, "Religion at the Frontline: How Religion Influenced the Response of Local Government Officials to the COVID-19 Pandemic," Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 2021, 82:4 397-425.

2021 John O'Brien & Eman Abdelhadi, "Re-examining Restructuring: Racialization, Religious Conservatism, and Political Leanings in Contemporary American Life.” Social Forces 99(2):474-503 (Dec. 2020).

2020 Yanfei Sun, “Reversal of Fortune: Growth Trajectories of Catholicism and Protestantism in Modern China,” Theory and Society 48: 267-298.

2019 Andrew L. Whitehead, Samuel L. Perry, and Joseph O. Baker, “Make America Christian Again: Christian Nationalism and Voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election,” Sociology of Religion 79, no. 2 (Summer 2018): 147–171.

2018 Yanfei Sun, “The Rise of Protestantism in Post-Mao China:  State and Religion in Historical Perspective,” American Journal of Sociology 122, no. 6 (March 2017): 1664-1725.

2017 David Voas and Mark Chaves, “Is the United States a Counterexample to the Secularization Thesis?,” American Journal of Sociology 121, no. 5 (March 2016): 1517-1556.