Philosophy professor wins Disciples History's Lester McAllister Prize

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Caleb Clanton, associate professor of philosophy and university research professor at Lipscomb University, has been named the first recipient of the newly established Lester McAllister Prize for best published resource on Stone-Campbell history, for 2013.

A $5,000 prize to be awarded annually by Disciples History (Disciples of Christ Historical Society), the McAllister Prize recognizes Clanton’s book, “The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell,” published last year by the University of Tennessee Press.

Clanton’s prize-winning book “reconstructs and critically evaluates (Alexander) Campbell’s argument for the existence of God,” Clanton said. “It outlines his case for the credibility of miracle reports and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. It also explores Campbell’s treatment of the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness and the relationship between moral theory and religion.”

Glenn Thomas Carson, president of Disciples History, presented the prize. The selection panel included Paul M. Blowers (Emmanuel Christian Seminary), Glenn Thomas Carson (Disciples History), Douglas A. Foster (Abilene Christian University), and D. Newell Williams (Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University).

“This book really caught our attention,” Foster said. “Clanton approaches the subject with true competence and offers a number of new insights.”

This book is Clanton’s fifth book. He is presently working on a new book that deals with the philosophy of religion in the classical American pragmatist tradition, among other research projects.

In addition to his teaching duties at Lipscomb, Clanton is one of the institution’s three university research professors, a designation awarded to faculty members who have made, and continue to make, substantial contributions to knowledge through research and publication. As such, he is provided time and resources to do publishable primary research related to his areas of expertise.

Clanton completed his undergraduate work in philosophy at the University of Alabama Huntsville. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Clanton joined the Lipscomb faculty in 2012. He has served on the faculty at Vanderbilt University and was most recently at Pepperdine University where he received several recognitions including the Howard S. White Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010.

Now serving in more than 100 countries, Disciples of Christ Historical Society is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and interconnects all Stone-Campbell churches around the world.

Since 1941, the Disciples of Christ Historical Society has served its mission of preserving and making available to researchers the many documents, books, periodicals, and audio/visual materials telling the story of the Stone-Campbell heritage. More information is available at