Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-10-08

Dr. Stephen A. Graham, a University of Indianapolis political science professor, has won the 2007 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography from Samford University's Beeson Divinity School for his 2005 book on Christian missionary and evangelist E. Stanley Jones.

Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Mission details the life and work of Jones (1884-1973), who went to India as a Methodist missionary in 1907 and later became an itinerant evangelist who was equally concerned with social justice and spirituality. Jones supported Indian aspirations for independence from the British Empire and was sensitive to Indian religious traditions.

Graham, a member of the Indianapolis political science faculty since 1984, will receive the Pollock Award Oct. 16 during Beeson's 11 a.m. chapel service in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel at Samford. Graham will speak on Jones' work during the program, which is open to the public.

Beeson Divinity School established the Pollock Award in 2001. The international award, which carries a cash prize, is named for the British author of more than 30 books on religion, the majority of which are biographies of Christian leaders.

Graham's biography of Jones, published by Abingdon Press, is aimed at a broad audience. It sets Jones' life against the backdrop of the Christian missionary movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the aftermath of World War I, the various phases of the Indian independence movement, the origins of Japanese imperialism and militarism in the Pacific during the 1930s and ´40s, and American domestic and international politics following World War II.

Graham is author of an earlier book, The Totalitarian Kingdom of God: The Political Philosophy of E. Stanley Jones. He and his wife, Marcia, also wrote First the Kingdom: A Call to the Conservative Pentecostal/Charismatics and the Liberal Social Justice Advocates for Repentance and Reunification. 

Graham is a graduate of Davidson College with master's and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University-all in political science.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.