Anna Sun, associate professor of sociology and Asian and Middle East studies, received the 2014 Best Book Award for her work, Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities. The award, given by the American Sociological Association, honors a book that makes an outstanding contribution to the sociology of religion. In addition, the book was also named Best First Book in the History of Religion, given by the American Academy of Religion.
Sun said the book took more than 10 years to investigate. “A lot of the research was done after I came to Kenyon,” she said. “I would focus on my teaching and my students during the semesters, and go to China for fieldwork during winter and summer breaks.”
Sun hopes that Confucianism will be of interest to both academics and those unfamiliar with the 2,500-year-old religion. “The book was indeed written with a broad audience in mind — not only for scholars of religion and scholars of China, but for anyone wishing to know more about how our knowledge about religions is socially produced, and also about the exciting changes in religious life in China today.”
These are not the first awards Sun has received for this particular work. Last year, Confucianism was selected as one of Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013,” and the book has received several scholastic accolades.