The John Gilmary
Shea Prize

The Shea Prize at a Glance

Please be sure to consult the submission rules and the rest of the information on this page for the full award requirements.
What it is:

The Shea Prize honors a book that has made the most “original and distinguished contribution” to the history of the Catholic Church.

What works are eligible:

Any book with a 2023 imprint date.





Winner announced:

Fall 2024

Submission instructions:

Complete the online form and have three hard-copy versions of your work available for postal mailing.

Submission deadline: extended to May 1, 2024

About the Shea Prize

The John Gilmary Shea Prize is given annually to the author of a book, published during a preceding twelve-month period, which is judged by a committee of experts to have made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church.

Any author who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is eligible. The award consists of $1,500.

Prize Committee


Karin Vélez
Macalester College

[email protected]


Thomas Kselman
University of Notre Dame

[email protected]


Charles R. Gallagher, S.J.
Boston College

[email protected]

Submission Rules

The general rules for submission are:

  1. The book must have been published in 2023.
  2. The author must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada.
  3. The submitter must send three hard copies of the book as indicated on the submission form.

Past Winners

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2023 Jeroen Dewulf Afro-Atlantic Catholics: America’s First Black Christians University of Notre Dame Press Buy
2022 Brenna Moore Kindred Spirits: Friendship and Resistance at the Edges of Modern Catholicism University of Chicago Press Buy
2021 Theresa Keeley Reagan’s Gun-Toting Nuns: The Catholic Conflict Over Cold War Human Rights Policy in Central America Cornell University Press Buy
2020 Elizabeth Foster African Catholic: Decolonization and the Transformation of the Church  Harvard University Press Buy
2019 Karin Vélez The Miraculous Flying House of Loreto: Spreading Catholicism in the Early ModernWorld Princeton University Press Buy
2018 Michelle Armstrong-Partida Defiant Priests Domestic Unions, Violence, and Clerical Masculinity in Fourteenth-Century Catalunya Cornell University Press Buy
2017 William B. Taylor Theater of a Thousand Wonders: History of Miraculous Images and Shrines in New Spain Cambdrige University Press Buy
2016 Katrina Olds Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain Yale University Press Buy
2015 Maureen C. Miller Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800-1200 Cornell University Press Buy
2014 John W. O’Malley Trent: What Happened at the Council Belknap Press Buy
2013 Charles Keith Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation University of California Press Buy
2012 John Connelly From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 Harvard University Press Buy
2011 Ulrich L. Lehner Enlightened Monks: The German Benedictines, 1740-1803 Oxford University Press Buy
2010 Neal Pease Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland 1914 – 1939 Ohio University Press Buy
2009 John Van Engen Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages University of Pennsylvania Press Buy
2008 Charles R. Gallagher Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII Yale University Press Buy
2007 Liam Matthew Brockey Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 Harvard University Press Buy
2006 J. Michael Hayden and Malcom R. Greenshields 600 Years of Reform: Bishops and the French Church, 1190-1789 McGill-Queen’s University Press Buy
2005 Stephen Schloesser, S.J. Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris University of Toronto Press Buy
2004 Michael B. Goss The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany University of Michigan Press Buy
2003 Jay B. Corrin Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy University of Notre Dame Press Buy
2002 David Burr Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis Penn State University Press Buy
2001 Katherine Jansen The Making of Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages Princeton University Press Buy
2000 Brad Gregory Slavation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe Harvard University Press Buy
1999 Kathryn Burns Colonial Habits: COnvents and the Spiritual Economy of Cuzco, Peru Duke University Press Buy
1998 John M. Howe Church Reform and Social Change in Eleventh-Century Italy: Dominic of Sora and His Patrons University of Pennsylvania Press
1997 Dauril Alden The Making of Enterprise: The Society of Jesus in Portugal, Its Empire, and Beyond, 1540-1750 Stanford University Press Buy
1996 John T. McGreevy Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North University of Chicago Press Buy
1995 Marvin R. O’Connell Critics on Trial: An Introduction to the Catholic Modernist Crisis Catholic University of America Press Buy
1994 Brian P. Clarke Piety and Nationalism: Lay Voluntary Associations and the Creation of an Irish-Catholic Community in Toronto, 1859-1895 Mcgill-Queens University Press
1993 Maureen C. Miller The Formation of the Medieval Church: Ecclesiastical Change in Verona, 950-1150 Cornell University Press Buy
1992 David J. O’Brien Isaac Hecker: An American Catholic Paulist Press Buy
1991 Cyprian Davis, O.S.B. The History of Black Catholics in the United States Crossroad Buy
1990 Jeremy Cohen “Be Fertile and Increase: Fill the Eart and Master It”: The Ancient and Medieval Career of a Biblical Text Cornell University Press
1989 Christopher J. Kauffman, gen. ed. Makers of the Catholic Community: The Bicentennial History of the Catholic Church in America Macmillan Publishing
1988 James A. Brundage Law, Sex and Christian Society in Medieval Europe University of Chicago Press Buy
1987 James M. Powell Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213-1221 University of Pennsylvania Press Buy
1986 Robert Anthony Orsi The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1959 Yale University Press Buy
1985 Eugene Franklin Rice, Jr. Saint Jerome in the Renaissance Johns Hopkins University Press Buy
1984 Philip T. Hoffman Church and Community in the Diocese of Lyon, 1500-1789 Yale University Press
1983 Thomas A. Kselman Miracles and Prophecies in Nineteenth Century France Rutgers University Press
1982 Walter L. Arnstein Protestant versus Catholic in Mid-Victorian England: Mr. Newdgate and the Nuns University of Missouri Press
1981 John W. Boyer Political Radialism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848-1897 University of Chicago Press Buy
1980 Richard Krautheimer Rome: Profile of a City, 312-1308 Princeton University Press Buy
1979 Kenneth Meyer Setton The Papacy and the Levant (1204-1571), Vol. II: The Fifteenth Century American Philosophical Society
1978 Charles W. Jones St. Nicholas of Myra, Bari and Manhattan University of Chicago Press
1977 Timothy Tackett Priest and Parish in Eighteenth-Century France: A Social and Political Study of the Curés in a Diocese of Dauphiné, 1750-1791 Princeton University Press Buy
1976 Emmet Larkin The Roman Catholic Church and the Creation of the Modern Irish State, 1878-1886 American Philosophical Society
1975 Jay P. Dolan The Immigrant Church: New York’s Irish and German Catholics, 1815-1865 University of Notre Dame Press Buy
1974 Thomas W. Spalding Martin John Spalding: American Churchman Catholic University of America Press
1973 Robert E. Quirk The Mexican Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1910-1929 Indiana University Press
1971 John T. Noonan Power to Dissolve: Lawyers and Marriages in the Courts of the Roman Curia Belknap Press Buy
1970 Jaroslav Pelikan The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition University of Chicago Press Buy
1969 David M. Kennedy Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger Yale University Press Buy
1968 Robert Brentano Two Churches, England and Italy in the Thirteenth Century  University of California Press Buy
1967 Edward S. Surtz, S.J. The Works and Days of John Fisher: An Introduction to the Position of St. John Fisher (1469–1535), Bishop of Rochester, in the English Renaissance and the Reformation Harvard University Press Buy
1966 Robert I. Burns, S.J. The Crusader Kingdom of Valencia Harvard University Press Buy
1965 Robert I. Burns, S.J. The Jesuits and the Indian Wars of the Northwest Idaho Research Foundation
1964 John T. Noonan Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists Harvard University Press Buy
1963 Helen C. White Tudor Books of Saints and Martyrs University of Wisconsin Press
1962 Oscar Halecki The Millennium of Europe University of Notre Dame Press
1961 Francis Dvornik The Slav in European History and Civilization Rutgers University Press Buy
1960 John Courtney Murray, S.J. We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition Sheed and Ward
1959 Maynard Geiger, O.F.M. Life and Times of Junipero Serra or the Man Who Never Turned Back, 1713-1784 Academy of American Franciscan History
1958 Robert Graham, S.J. Vatican Diplomacy: Study of Church and State on the International Plane Princeton University Press
1957 John M. Daley, S.J. Gerogetown University: Origin and Early Years Georgetown University Press
1956 Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C. The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895-1900 H. Regnery Co
1955 John Tracy Ellis American Catholicism University of Chicago Press Buy
1954 Annabelle Melville John Carroll of Blatimore: Founder of the American Catholic Hierachy Scribner Publishing
1953 Philip Hughes The Reformation in England (3 vols.) Macmillan Publishing
1952 Colman Barry, O.S.B. The Catholic Church and German Americans The Bruce Publishing Company
1951 not awarded
1950 George W. Paré The Catholic Church in Detroit Gabriel Richard Press
1949 John H. Kennedy Jesuit and Savage in New France Yale University Press
1948 not awarded
1947 not awarded
1946 not awarded
1945 Carlton J. H. Hayes Wartime Mission in Spain Hassell Street Press