2022 Guittard Book Award for Historical Scholarship Winner Announced

October 13, 2022
faculty holding book

Daniel Watkins, author, holding his book,  Berruyer's Bible: Public Opinion and the Politics of Enlightenment Catholicism in France.


beruyer's bible book cover
Cover of "Berruyer's Bible: Public Opinion and the Politics of Enlightenment Catholicism in France" by Daniel J. Watkins.

The Department of History is excited to announce the winner of the 2022 Guittard Book Award for Historical Scholarship is Daniel J. Watkins, Assistant Professor of History at Baylor.

Watkins’ book, Berruyer’s Bible: Public Opinion and the Politics of Enlightenment Catholicism in France (McGill-Queens University Press, 2021), offers a fresh perspective on the Catholic Enlightenment by exploring the rise and fall of a French Jesuit’s attempt to connect the ideas of the Enlightenment with the theology of the Catholic Church.

An independent panel of judges from across the United States read all nine entries for 2022. One judge wrote that Watkins’ book has “impressive primary research and command of relevant scholarship” and “powerfully challenges the traditional historiographic paradigm . . . of the Enlightenment’s essentially secular nature.” Another commented, “There is high drama in the story, and many parallels to be drawn for the history of Christianity today. In this book, Watkins does what historians do best: Broaden our context, enlarge our experience, give us eyes to see from many angles.”

The Guittard Book Award was established as annual prize in 2013 to recognize “a distinguished work of original scholarship in any area of history written by a current or emeritus member of the faculty of the Baylor Department of History or by any graduate holding a degree in history from Baylor University.” The honor is named for Dr. Francis Gevrier Guittard, who taught at Baylor University from 1902 until his death in 1950 and served as the chair of Baylor’s Department of History for 38 years. Each annual winner is selected by a committee of three credentialed historians, none of whom are members of Baylor’s History Department faculty. A $1,000 cash prize accompanies the award.

Charles Guittard has recently published the third volume of a trilogy on the life of his grandfather, Dr. Frank Guittard,  I Will Teach History: The Life & Times of Francis Gevrier Guittard, Professor, Baylor University. This will be of interest to anyone who enjoys not only biographies, but also Baylor history, as it is just as much a history of the institution as it is Dr. Guittard.

Previous Guittard Book Award winners include Nancy Beck Young, Julie deGraffenried, Kenna Lang Archer, Andrea Turpin, Thomas Kidd, Daniel Watkins & Mita Choudhury, and Eric Rust.