December 29, 2023
Afro-Atlantic Catholics: America’s First Black Christians by Jeroen Dewulf, Queen Beatrix Professor in Dutch Studies and director of Berkeley's Institute of European Studies, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 John Gilmary Shea Prize by The American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA). This esteemed award, established in 1945, is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Association, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of American Catholic history. The nomination citation states, "Afro-Atlantic Catholics draws on a wide-ranging research base to make a bold historiographical intervention in the history of Black Catholicism and Black religion in the Americas more broadly...Pulling evidence together across five centuries and three continents, Dewulf reaches the significant conclusion that "there is no contradiction in being Christian and being proud of one's African heritage" (210). Afro-Atlantic Catholics is a timely, salubrious corrective to Catholic and Christianity studies that have too long portrayed Christians of African ancestry as marginalized outliers instead of as key global players."
The official award presentation is scheduled to take place at the ACHA's annual meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the American Historical Association's conference in San Francisco. The ceremony will be a part of the Presidential Luncheon on Friday, January 5, 2024, from 12 to 2 PM at the Hilton Union Square in Continental Ballroom 5.
For more information about the John Gilmary Shea Prize and the American Catholic Historical Association, please visit https://achahistory.org/shea-prize/(link is external)For details about the annual meeting and the joint conference with the American Historical Association in San Francisco, please visit https://achahistory.org/sanfrancisco2024/(link is external).About the American Catholic Historical Association: The American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA) is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in the field of American Catholic history. Established in 1919, the ACHA promotes research, teaching, and publication in this historical discipline. For more information, visit https://achahistory.org/(link is external).