Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Hastings Prize in Religion


The Hastings Prize is a $500.00 cash award for the paper exhibiting the most astute “philosophical interpretation of religion” written in departmental courses. Faculty members nominate papers and the entire department determines the winners of the award. Competition is open every year, but awards may not be granted every year.

The donor, Frederick R. Hastings, was a Colorado Springs architect who endowed the fund in 1900 with the intent of supporting the department’s mission of promoting the academic study of religion. We have honored that intention by awarding the Hastings Prize to essays of the highest quality, covering a broad range of topics and employing a variety of methods in the interpretation of religious beliefs and practices.

Recent Winners:

2014
Taylor Diepenbrock, "A Measure of Māyā: Delusion and Power in the Bhagavad Gītā, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, and Śaṅkara's Commentaries" 
Evan Hanks, "Space, Speech, and the Apophatic Movement in Vedic Literature" 

2012
Sean Michael Hyun Kwo, "Process Metaphysics in an Age of Skepticism" 

2011
Eliza Brennan-Pratt, "Journey of Faith: Self, Community, and Transcendent Cause"

2010
Caroline Kupiec, “God as Affirming the Positive Value of Dynamic Materiality”
Hannah Heckman, “Women Saints and the Impossibility of Salvation in Hinduism”

2008
Kylie Birnbaum, “Indeterminate Nature: A Process Theodicy”

2007
Annie Kelvie, “Creativity and the Life of God”

2006
Tara Menon, “'In Perfect Tune with Krishna': Bhakti, Lila and the Aesthetic Experience as a Means to Salvation"
Kathryn Cox, “Ashvamedha: The Great Vedic Horse Sacrifice”

2004
Gregory Lestikow, “Living and Dying for the Cause: Self-Sacrifice in the Nicaraguan Revolution”

2003
Jared Pruch, “Sacrifice and Wilderness: An Exploration of the Logic and Language of Sacrifice in the American Environmental Movement”

2002
Susan Bjork, “In Praise of Sophia: The Impact of Personified Wisdom on Contemporary Christian Feminist Theology”

Historic Winners:

1909
Mr. G. A. West, "The Character of Jesus"
Miss Emma Riggs, "The Ultimate Criterion of Faith"
Miss Mozelle Anderson, "The Seat of Authority in Religion"
Miss Ruth F. Londoner, "The Religious Ideal of George Eliot" (Honorable Mention)