This annual award honors a scholar who has shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. During more than 50 years of groundbreaking, interdisciplinary scholarship, Lenski has developed social theory that guides concrete research. He has made lasting contributions to the sociology of religion, social stratification, the development of evolutionary social theory, and comparative macrosociology. Seminal works, such as The Religious Factor and Power and Privilege, remain influential today. Lenski has been an admired and effective advisor and mentor to graduate students, whose work and careers he has influenced greatly. Notably, Lenski has made very important contributions to undergraduate education, particularly to the teaching of Introductory Sociology. Lenski’s scholarship is wide ranging, both historically and geographically; it is theoretical, but also empirically grounded. Lenski’s career in sociology has been remarkable for its contribution to scholarship and for his contribution of the education of graduate and undergraduate students.
Gerhard E. Lenski Award Statement