Published on October 11, 2006 by Mary Wimberley  

C.S. Lewis biographer Dr. Alan Jacobs received the 2006 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Samford University.

The award, presented annually by Samford's Beeson Divinity School, recognized Jacobs' book, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis, as the most distinguished Christian biography of the past year.

Jacobs, a Birmingham native and former member of the city's 85th Street Baptist Church, is professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois. He is also the author of Shaming the Devil: Essays in Truthtelling, A Theology of Reading : The Hermeneutics of Love, A Visit to Vanity Fair and Other Moral Essays, Bad to the Bone: A Cultural History of Original Sin, and the forthcoming Life Genres: Persons in Narrative Theology.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Jacobs holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

The Pollock Award was established in 2001 to be an encouragement to others in the writing of Christian biography, said Beeson dean Dr. Timothy George. British writer Pollock is the author of more than 30 books on religion, the majority of them biographies of Christian leaders.

During a ceremony that was held as part of a Beeson chapel service, Jacobs received a bronze trophy in the shape of an open book with an inscribed passage from Hebrews.

The scripture, which advises remembrance of those "who have spoken unto you the word of God," symbolizes the meaning of the Pollock Award, noted George.

After the presentation, Jacobs gave a talk on scholar/Christian writer Lewis, who is best known for his children's series The Chronicles of Narnia.

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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.