Publication Date

December 1, 1996

At the autumn general meeting of the American Philosophical Society (APS), Arlin M. Adams, president of the APS, presented the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History to AHA president Caroline Walker Bynum (Columbia Univ.). The Barzun Prize recognizes distinguished work in American or European cultural history. Eligible works must "not only be written in the English language, but well written." From more than 60 submissions in 1995, the committee unanimously selected Professor Bynum's book, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336.

Adams stated that the book "offers an impressive somatic counterpart to the vast literature on medieval spirituality and makes a valuable contribution to the history of Western religious mentality." The Resurrection of the Body traces the controversial history of the body as a locus of personal identity and cultural meaning. By drawing on the intricacies of medieval theology, as wen as the obscurities of popular beliefs and fears, Bynum illuminates “an aspect of culture neglected by social and intellectual historians alike.”

Established in 1994, the prize honors historian and cultural critic Jacques Barzun, university professor emeritus at Columbia University, who was elected a member of the APS in 1984. The deadline for books published in 1996 is January 31, 1997. For details, contact the American Philosophical Society, 150 S. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3387. (215) 440-3400.

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