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Messiah College historian John Fea is a finalist for George Washington Book Prize

February 24th, 2012

Click on image on right to download a print-quality photograph of John Fea.

GRANTHAM, Pa. (Feb. 24, 2012) — Messiah College history professor John Fea is one of three finalists for the 2012 George Washington Book Prize. Fea earned the honor with “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction” (Westminster John Knox Press), a book that asks and answers one of the most controversial questions of contemporary debate.

The $50,000 prize—which is co-sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon—recognizes the past year’s best books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history.

The jury—comprised of distinguished historians Richard Beeman, the John Welsh Centennial Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania; Thomas Fleming, historian and author; and Marla R. Miller of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst—praised Fea’s book for its “balance and nuance” along with its “real, even pressing, contemporary importance.”

About John Fea
Fea is associate professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College. He has written extensively for both scholarly and popular audiences. He is also the author of “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America” and co-editor of “Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation.”

About the finalists and prize
The other finalists, also published in 2011, are Benjamin H. Irvin’s “Clothed in Robes of Sovereignty: The Continental Congress and the People Out of Doors” (Oxford University Press) and Maya Jasanoff’s “Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World” (Knopf). The winner will be announced June 4 at a black-tie dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens in Virginia.

More information about the George Washington Book Prize can be found at and at

About Messiah College
Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal andapplied arts and sciences, enrolls 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.

One Response to “Messiah College historian John Fea is a finalist for George Washington Book Prize”

  1. Is America a Christian Nation? | Flunking Sainthood Says:

    […] according to John Fea’s award-winning history book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?, the issue of the “godless […]


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