Notre Dame Press Books Take Top 2020 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards

On June 17, 2021, Foreword Reviews announced the winners for the 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Over 2,100 entries were submitted in 55 categories, with Foreword’s editors choosing approximately 9 finalists per genre. Those finalist books were then mailed to individual librarians and booksellers tasked with picking the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention winners. Four University of Notre Dame Press books received top honors. The awards recognize the best books published in 2020 from small, independent, and university presses. The judges declared these winners “the best of the best that we saw.”

David Bentley Hart’s Theological Territories received the Gold Award for Religion (Adult Nonfiction). In Theological Territories, Hart, one of America’s most eminent contemporary writers on religion, reflects on the state of theology “at the borders” of other fields of discourse, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind, science, the arts, ethics, and biblical hermeneutics. The book advances many of Hart’s larger theological projects, developing and deepening numerous dimensions of his previous work.

Stories in Light: A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame by Cecilia Davis Cunningham and Nancy Cavadini won the Silver Award in Travel (Adult Nonfiction). This informative guidebook tells the unique story of the windows of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart: the improbable creation of a glassworks by cloistered Carmelite nuns in LeMans, France, and their stained glass that so perfectly illuminated the spirituality of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Stories in Light describes the windows according to their location in the building. Full-color photographs, accompanied by commentary, provide a detailed view of the scenes found in each window.

The Silver Award in Grief/Grieving (Adult Nonfiction) went to The Evening of Life: The Challenges of Aging and Dying Well edited by Joseph E. Davis and Paul Scherz. Bringing together the work of sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and medical practitioners, this collection of essays develops a set of conceptual tools to discuss the current challenges posed to aging and dying well. It calls for a re-envisioning of cultural concepts, practices, and virtues that embraces decline, dependency, and finitude rather than stigmatizes them.

Shabtai Shavit, director of the Mossad from 1989 to 1996, is one of the most influential leaders to shape the recent history of the State of Israel. His memoir, Head of the Mosssad: In Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Israel received the Bronze Award in War & Military (Adult Nonfiction). In this exciting and engaging book, Shavit combines memoir with sober reflection to reveal what happened during the seven years he led what is widely recognized today as one of the most powerful and proficient intelligence agencies in the world. He provides an inside account of his intelligence and geostrategic philosophy, the operations he directed, and anecdotes about his family, colleagues, and travels.

Congratulations, Notre Dame Press authors. We are proud your titles received this recognition as some of the most innovative, creative, and beautiful books published during 2020.

These books are available at or wherever books are sold. We encourage you to support your local independent bookstore either in person or online.

For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts,, 574.631.3267.

This story originally appeared at

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