JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 15, 2011– The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has named Union University professor Hunter Baker the 2011 recipient of the Novak Award.
According to a news release from the organization, the Novak Award “rewards new outstanding research by scholars early in their academic careers who demonstrate outstanding intellectual merit in advancing the understanding of theology's connection to human dignity, the importance of limited government, religious liberty, and economic freedom.”
Baker, who is associate dean of arts and sciences and associate professor of political science, will present the institute’s annual Calihan Lecture. The award is named after distinguished American theologian and social philosopher Michael Novak.
“I hope to live up to Michael Novak’s fine example in terms of both his intellectual acuity and the diligence embodied by his work ethic,” Baker said. “I am also pleased to bring this award to Union University, which is the kind of institution that encourages Christian thoughtfulness about public issues.”
Baker is the author of a widely acclaimed book entitled “The End of Secularism” (Crossway Academic, 2009) and a frequent contributor to a variety of scholarly publications.
Union University President David S. Dockery nominated Baker for the award.
“With the publication of ‘The End of Secularism,’ along with his other writings, Professor Hunter Baker has established himself as one of the most significant and well-reasoned voices for the place of religion and faith in our nation’s public square,” Dockery said. “He often brings illuminating clarity to the confusion regarding matters of religion and politics.”
Dockery said Baker also regularly offers thoughtful analysis about the meaning and place of pluralism in public deliberations.
“The Union University community joins me in offering our heartiest congratulations to Hunter Baker on being named the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Novak Award,” Dockery said.