Posted by William Nunnelley on 2002-05-25

Samford University's Beeson Divinity School has presented its annual John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography to Joseph Pearce, Writer in Residence at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Mich., for his book "Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile."

Beeson began presenting the award in 2001. The award honors Pollock, a British author who has written more than 30 books on religion, the majority of them biographies of Christian leaders.

This year's recipient, Pearce, has written eight books on such literary figures as J. R. R. Tolkien, G. K. Chesterton, Oscar Wilde and others. His book on the Russian writer, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, was published by Baker Books in 2001.

Pearce also teaches literature and lyric poetry at Ave Maria.

"The author has grasped with great insight the spiritual core of Solzhenitsyn's achievement as a writer, and indeed as a prophet to Russia and the world," said reviewer David Aikman, author of the book "Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Century."

"Joseph Pearce is best on what matters most about Solzhenitsyn: the centrality of the author's faith," noted Edward E. Ericson, English professor at Calvin College and himself author of a book on the Russian writer.

Pollock, whose work inspired the Samford award, attended this year's award ceremony over the weekend at Samford. The author, now 78, was in Birmingham to receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Samford during Commencement Saturday (May 25).


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.