George Marsden, a Notre Dame professor who wrote a biography of 18th-century colonial preacher Jonathan Edwards, has won the prestigious 2005 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Marsden, who has also written about fundamentalism in America and the culture of U.S. universities, won the $200,000 prize for his 2003 biography titled Jonathan Edwards: A Life. The annual award is given jointly by Louisville Presbyterian Thelogical Seminary and the University of Louisville.
Anticommunist preacher Billy James Hargis, a “bawl and jump” evangelist based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, died at age 79 on November 27. At his peak in the 1950s his program was carried on more than 500 television stations and 250 radio outlets. His popularity fell in the 1970s when his Christian Crusade organization was beset by problems, including unproven allegations of sexual misconduct by Hargis with male and female students at a college he started.