InterVarsity Press Authors Win Prestigious Pollock Award
Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, authors of Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia (IVP Books), received the 2012 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography. The award will be presented to Noll and Nystrom at Beeson Divinity School on April 3, 2012.
Clouds of Witnesses introduces seventeen pivotal Christian leaders from Africa and Asia, unfolding the significant influence and powerful life stories of saints many may not easily recognize. Andy Le Peau, associate publisher for editorial at InterVarsity Press, acknowledges the importance of such a book. "Over half of all Christians now live outside the West," says Le Peau. "We need to know the back story of the great Christian pioneers from Africa and Asia whose vision, sacrifice and openness to the Spirit over the last century have laid the foundation for this vast movement."
Noll, a long-time admirer of Pollock's many biographies including that of the great William Wilberforce, shares Le Peau's enthusiasm for this prestigious distinction, particularly the recognition it brings to non-Western voices that have shaped Christianity.
"It is an honor to receive this award," says Noll. "I know I speak for my coauthor Carolyn Nystrom as well in saying that we both learned a great deal, and were greatly encouraged in our own spiritual lives by the research that lay behind this book. We are glad to think that the award may alert others to the possibility of learning more about the noteworthy Christian believers in Asia and Africa who are profiled in the book."
"The prestige of the Pollock Award not only underlines the quality of Clouds of Witnesses but draws attention to the importance of its topic," says Le Peau. "We owe a great debt of gratitude to Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom for telling us about these heroes of the faith with such insight and verve."
The Pollock Award, named for the great Christian biographer John C. Pollock, is presented annually by Beeson Divinity School (Samford University) for the year's most outstanding Christian biography. Past winners include Eric Metaxas for Bonhoeffer, Alan Jacobs for The Narnian and Timothy Dudley-Smith for John Stott. Clouds of Witnesses is unique in that it's the first coauthored book to win the Pollock Award as well as the first winner to comprise multiple biographies.
In addition to the April 3 award presentation, Noll will speak at the Beeson Divinity School chapel the same day at 11 a.m. as part of Beeson’s World Christianity Focus week.