Professor Gary Neal Hansen Receives CRT’s “Devotional Book of the Year” Award

Jun 5, 2013 | Kristi Lynch

The British organization Christian Resources Together announced that they have honored Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers by Gary Neal Hansen (InterVarsity Press, 2012) with their award for “Devotional Book of the Year.”  Hansen is associate professor of church history at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

“I am thrilled to have my book recognized in this way,” Hansen said.  “The book has a mission: to help people take prayer far more seriously than they ever have before, finding ways to pray that are authentically Christian and that really fit.  This affirmation from the U.K. is very meaningful to me -- it is a great honor and it helps people find what I hope is a really useful resource.”

Kneeling with Giants introduces readers to ten ways Christians have practiced prayer across the centuries.  Each of the ten is distinctly different from the others, providing readers a wide range of possibilities to grow in the life of prayer.  Each of the practices is rooted in a major branch of the Christian faith, including Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Evangelical, and Charismatic.  Hansen noted, “Most Christians want to pray, but many find it difficult.  They may only know one way to pray.  If that one way leaves them cold they may give up.  I hope people will find ways to draw close to God that really fit their personalities and life circumstances.”

“This is another well-deserved commendation of Dr. Hansen’s scholarship in service to the church,” commented Bradley Longfield, dean of the Seminary.  “The seminary community rejoices with Gary in this recognition of his scholarship that furthers the seminary’s mission to form God’s people for servant leadership.”  Hansen’s book was featured in an interview in the May 2012 issue of Christianity Today and in the “Best this Month” column of the September 2012 issue of The Lutheran.  On January 27, 2013 Hearts and Minds Books honored Kneeling with Giants as 2012’s “Best Book of the Year on Spirituality” saying “This book is nearly a masterpiece.”  Research on the book was funded by a generous grant by the Louisville Institute’s “Christian Faith and Life” program in 2007, and supported by two semesters of sabbatical leave.