Baylor History Professor Receives 2009 John Pollock Award

July 7, 2009

by Nincy Mathew, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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Dr. Barry Hankins, Baylor University history professor and director of graduate studies, has received the 2009 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

The award recognizes Hankins' book, Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America, which chronicles the life of a theologian, philosopher and Presbyterian pastor. He is credited by some scholars to have sparked fundamentalist movements in the United States.

The Pollock Award is named for the British author of more than 30 books on religion, the majority of them being biographies of Christian leaders, according to the Samford University website. Beeson Divinity School established the award in 2001.

Prior recipients include writers Stephen Graham, Alan Jacobs, Francis Bremer, George Marsden, Kevin Belmonte, Joseph Pearce and Timothy Dudley-Smith.

The award includes a $5000 award and a trip to Beeson for a November 5 public lecture about Schaeffer.

"I set out to write a book that would tell his and his wife Edith's story while assessing their contribution to the development of American evangelicalism," said Hankins.

The book tracks Schaeffer's life in three phases--his fundamentalist early years, a middle period when he was involved in the Christian cultural engagement, to his final years as the intellectual guru of Christian Right politics, said Hankins.

Hankins is from Michigan and graduated from Baylor in 1978 with a bachelor's in religion and a master's degree in church-state studies in 1983. Hankins received his doctorate in history from Kansas State University in 1990.

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