Yale Historian Wins $75,000 International Prize

Yale University Professor of History Stuart B. Schwartz has won the first annual Cundill International Prize in History, awarded by McGill University, for his book “All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World” (Yale University Press, 2008).

The largest non-fiction historical literature prize in the world, the Cundill Prize awards $75,000 to an author who has published a book that has had a profound literary, social and academic impact on a given subject.

“All Can Be Saved” reveals that even during the Inquisition, when enforcement of Catholic orthodoxy was widespread and brutal, tolerant religious attitudes existed in Spain, Portugal, and the New World colonies. Drawing on a broad body of historical evidence, including records of the Inquisition itself, Schwartz investigates the idea of religious tolerance and its evolution in the Hispanic world from 1500 to 1820.

“Schwartz’s history reveals that even during the infamous Inquisition, one of the darkest periods of the history of religion, freedom of conscience and the spirit of tolerance were alive in the minds of ordinary human beings,” says Canadian senator and jury member Serge Joyal. “It offers a glimmer of hope for today’s religious ‘culture wars.”

Currently, Schwartz is the George Burton Adams Professor of History at Yale. His first book, “Sovereignty and Society in Colonial Brazil” (1973), received an honorable mention for the Bolton Prize in 1974, and his book “Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society” (1984) won the Bolton Prize. He has published more than 70 articles in scholarly journals and anthologies, and he currently serves on the editorial board of 12 scholarly journals in seven countries. He is the editor-in-chief of the book series “New Approaches in the Americas” for Cambridge University Press.

Educated at Middlebury College and the National University of Mexico, Schwartz received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Yale faculty, he taught at the University of Minnesota. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and (twice) a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2000, he received the Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil’s highest decoration for foreigners.

The Cundill International Prize in History at McGill was established in April 2008 by McGill alumnus and investment manager Peter Cundill. It is administered by McGill University’s dean of arts, with the help of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC).

For information on the Cundill Prize, see http://www.mcgill.ca/cundillprize

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325