Brian Kaylor, contributing editor for and assistant professor in communications studies at James Madison University, has won a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.
The award recognizes “excellence in communicating religious issues, values and themes in the public media.”

RCC announced 15 Wilbur Awards for 2012, one of which was for Kaylor’s nonfiction book “PresidentialCampaignRhetoricinanAgeofConfessionalPolitics.”

The 2011 nonfiction book award went to Robert D. Putman and David E. Campbell for their book “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”

Since 1949, RCC has presented Wilbur Awards, named after Marvin C. Wilbur, a Presbyterian leader in religious communications. RCC is an interfaith association of religion communicators.

“It is gratifying to know that a group like the Religion Communicators Council – who do impressive interfaith communication work – would find the book worthy of recognition,” Kaylor told “I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, but as a writer it is great to discover that others also find the text meaningful.”

“I hope the book will gain more attention and readers,” added Kaylor. “Ideally, this award will lead religious journalists and others to check out the book, my arguments, and issues related to confessional politics in this campaign season.”

Kaylor has been an contributing editor since August 2005 (an archive of Kaylor’s articles is available here). also features a front-page Twitterfeedonfaithandpolitics titled Confessional Politics after Kaylor’s book.

Kaylor was recently interviewedviaSkype by about religion and politics. Kaylor said a “religious-political style” has developed among candidates over the last few decades that is “testimonial,” “sectarian,” “partisan” and “liturgical.”

Referring to some candidates, Kaylor said, “They’re almost acting like our nation’s would-be worship leader.”

Other 2012 Wilbur Award winners include “60 Minutes,” “CBS News Sunday Morning,” Entertainment Weekly, “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” and the movie “The Help.”

Kaylor will officially receive the award at a presentation in Philadelphia on April 14. The paperback edition of “Confessional Politics” – with a new afterword about the 2012 campaign – will also be released in April.

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