The Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion seeks to encourage excellence in the anthropology of religion by recognizing an outstanding recent book in the field. The Prize is named in honor of the late Professor Clifford Geertz, in recognition of his many distinguished contributions to the anthropological study of religion. The Prize comes with a cash award of USD $650. In awarding the Prize, the Society hopes to foster innovative scholarship, the integration of theory with ethnography, and the connection of the anthropology of religion to the larger world.
- Read the call for the 2023 Geertz Prize here.
Geertz Prize Winners for 2023:
Winner: The Sound of Salvation: Voice, Gender, and the Sufi Mediascape in China (Columbia University Press) by Guangtian Ha.
Honorable Mention: Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda: There is Confusion (Bloomsbury Academic) by Henni Alava.
Honorable Mention: Guarded by Two Jaguars: A Catholic Parish Divided by Language and Faith (The University of Arizona Press) by Eric Hoenes del Pinal.
Recent Recipients of the Geertz Prize
- 2022. The Privilege of Being Banal: Art, Secularism, and Catholicism in Paris (University of Chicago Press) by Elayne Oliphant.
- 2021. Experiments with Power: Obeah and the Remaking of Religion in Trinidad (University of Chicago Press) by Brent Crosson.
- 2020. Jesus Loves Japan: Return Migration and Global Pentecostalism in a Brazilian Diaspora (Stanford University Press, 2019) by Suma Ikeuchi.
- 2019. Vodún: Secrecy and the Search for Divine Power (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) by Timothy Landry.
- 2018. Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2017) by N. Fadeke Castor.
- 2017. Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions (NYU Press, 2016) by Elizabeth Pérez.
- 2016. Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report (Princeton University Press, 2015) by Saba Mahmood.
- 2015. Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Duke University Press, 2014) by Lucinda Ramberg.
- 2014. The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2013) by Stephan Palmié.
- 2013. Discipline and Debate The Language of Violence in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery (University of California Press, 2012) by Michael Lempert.
- 2012. Cosmologies of Credit: Transnational Mobility and the Politics of Destination in China (Duke University Press, 2010) by Julie Chu.
- 2011. Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination (University of California Press, 2011) by Amira Mittermaier.
- 2010. The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenyan Coast (Duke University Press, 2009) by Janet McIntosh.
- 2009. Travels with Tooy: History, Memory, and the African American Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2007) by Richard Price.
- 2008. A Problem of Presence: Beyond Scripture in an African Church (University of California Press, 2007) by Matthew Engelke.
- 2007. After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai (University of California Press, 2006) by Heonik Kwon.
Recent Geertz Prize Honorable Mentions
- 2022. God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State (University of California Press) by Nada Moumtaz.
- 2022. Deceptive Majority: Dalits, Hinduism, and Underground Religion (Cambridge University Press) by Joel Lee.
- 2021. Re-enchanting Modernity: Ritual Economy and Society in Wenzhou, China (Duke University Press) by Mayfair Yang.
- 2021. Forgiveness Work: Mercy, Law, and Victims’ Rights in Iran (Princeton University Press) by Arzoo Osanloo.
- 2020. Wrapping Authority: Women Islamic Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal (University of Toronto Press, 2018) by Joseph Hill.
- 2020. Conversionary Sites: Transforming Medical Aid and Global Christianity from Madagascar to Minnesota (University of Chicago Press, 2018) by Britt Halvorson.
- 2019. Buddhists, Shamans, and Soviets: Rituals of History in Post-Soviet Buryatia (Oxford University Press, 2019) by Justine Quijada.
- 2019. John of God: The Globalization of Brazilian Faith Healing (Oxford University Press, 2017) by Cristina Rocha.
- 2018. When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel (Columbia University Press, 2017) by Michal Kravel-Tovi.
- 2018. A Diagram for Fire: Miracles and Variation in an American Charismatic Movement (University of California Press, 2017) by Jon Bialecki.
- 2017. African Pentecostals in Catholic Europe: The Politics of Presence in the Twenty-first Century (Harvard University Press, 2016) by Annalisa Butticci.
- 2017. Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait (Duke University Press, 2017) by Attiya Ahmad.
- 2016. Rebranding Islam: Piety, Prosperity, and a Self-Help Guru (Stanford University Press, 2015) by James Hoesterey.
- 2015. The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Cornell University Press, 2014) by Nils Bubant.
- 2014. The Calls of Islam: Sufis, Islamists, and Mass Mediation in Urban Morocco (Indiana University Press, 2013) by Emilio Spadola.
- 2013. Our Bodies Belong to God Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt (University of California Press, 2012) by Sherine Hamdy.
- 2012. Stambeli: Music, Trance and Alterity in Tunisia (University of Chicago Press, 2010) by Richard C. Jankowsky.
- 2010. The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals (Cornell University Press, 2009) by Douglas Rogers.