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“Destroyer of the gods” Award

February 2, 2017

I’m pleased to report that my recent book, Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World (Baylor University Press), has just won the 2017 PROSE Award in the category of Archaeology & Ancient History.  These awards are made by the American Publishers Association. Here is the description from their web site  (here):

“The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 53 categories. Each year, publishers and authors are recognized at the PSP Annual Conference in Washington, DC, for their commitment to pioneering works of research and for contributing to the conception, production, and design of landmark works in their fields. Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth.”

The publisher’s online catalogue entry on my book is here.

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  1. Congratulations for your new achievements. The book seems to be interesting from its title. Can I get brief about the content of the book?

  2. Jack Dalby permalink

    Congratulations Professor Hurtado. Just finished reading “Destroyer of the Gods” myself. In addition to the many distinctive characteristics of early Christianity you describe, one I feel that deserves more discussion is the faith’s considerable skill at adapting its early expectations for the return of Jesus. By that I mean the young church’s ability to morph, within a generation or so of Paul’s letters, from what E.P. Sanders calls a “highly eschatological” group (1 Thess. 4:15-17 and Matt. 24:30), into a more patient gathering where, to paraphrase 2 Peter 3:3-9, “the Lord will return when he’s good and ready”. This naturally leads to the possibility that Paul never meant for his moral code to be anything more than a rigorous place holder until that rapidly approaching time when the Lord would usher in the Kingdom of God.

  3. Joyce permalink

    Congratulations on your most recent award!

    I have a question about another book you wrote based on your lecture, “Why on Earth would Anyone become a Christian in the First Three Centuries?” I live in Canada and ordered it from more than two months ago. Every few weeks I receive an automated message from Amazon to the effect that they are still trying to get the book and asking me if I still want it. Of course I want it! But I’m getting just a little impatient with

    I’m just wondering if you happen to know anything about the ordering process with Amazon. Do you have someone who manages these matters for you?

    Thank you,

    • Joyce: I note that says “out of stock”, so I suppose that the initial print-run has been sold out. I’ve contacted Marquette Univ Press (who hold the copyright) to see if they intend to reprint. More when I know something.

  4. Donald Jacobs permalink

    Congratulations professor Hurtado!

  5. Griffin permalink

    Thank you for your renewed interest in this area.

    You’ve mentioned that you noticed there could have been more on explanations as to exactly why Christians held on to their beliefs, in spite of many disincentives. Will you be expanding on that soon?

    • In my smaller book, Why on Earth did Anyone Become a Christian in the First Three Centuries (Marquette Univ Press, 2016), I emphasize the question and offer a few tentative ideas by way of answers. But I don’t think that we adequately appreciate the question yet, and so our putative answers are inadequate.

  6. Francisco José Grecco permalink


  7. Larry, congrats mate, bravo and well done!

  8. Donna Van Maanen permalink

    Thank you for an interesting book. I’m still reading. Donna Van Maanen

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Ricky permalink

    Congratulations Dr. Hurtado!!! I am waiting the spanish edition for my better understanding.

    • Ricky, Espero que la traduccion es proximanmente, de Ediciones Sigueme (Salamanca).

  10. Judith A. Diehl permalink

    Congratulations, Larry!!

  11. Istvan Pasztori-Kupan permalink

    Dear Larry,
    I am proud to announce that your book is already a teaching material at my religious studies class in Budapest, together with the Hungarian translation of How on earth did Jesus… We are reading and debating the Destroyer practically chapter by chapter. All the best, István

  12. Timothy Knowlton permalink

    Congratulations Professor Hurtado! Thank you for your work!

  13. That is fantastic, Larry! Congratulations!

  14. Congratulations!

  15. Congratulations. Well deserved! Thank you for writing this book.

  16. Dr. H.,
    Congratulations! By the way, just finished “Destroyer of the Gods” this week, myself. I would agree with the extraordinary ‘breadth and depth’ description of this work. As usual, well done.
    Btw, I am getting ready to go back and highlight a large number of new, at least to me, insights about early Christianity. The amount of research that must of gone into writing this book really brought home your recent post on flippant, my term, insights.


  17. Mary Ann Beavis permalink

    Congrats on the book award!

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