Announcing the winner of the first annual Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award

Columbia University Press, in conjunction with the Office of the Provost of Columbia University, is pleased to announce that Wael B. Hallaq is the winner of the first annual Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award for his book The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament.

Wael B. Hallaq is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University.

Ellen Lukens, Sylvia D. & Mose J. Firestone Centennial Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia School of Social Work and Co-Chair of the Columbia University Press faculty publication committee says Hallaq’s exceptional work was chosen because “in this powerful critical reflection on our times, Hallaq draws on historical and religious narratives to examine the limits of both Islamic and Western concepts of the modern state in light of the often misunderstood moral demands of Shari’ah. His writing illuminates the need for dialogue between Islamic and Western thought in an effort to confront the forces that threaten ecological sustainability and moral and communal prosperity in a global setting.”

The Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award is given to the Columbia University faculty member with a book published by the Press in the two years prior that brings the highest distinction to Columbia University and Columbia University Press for its outstanding contribution to academic and public discourse. The winner is selected by a jury composed of the current members of the Press’s faculty publication committee.

A ceremony to honor the winner will be held on September 24, 2015, at the Casa Italiana at Columbia University. The author of the winning book receives a certificate and a cash award of $10,000.

You can find more information about the award here.

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