Dr. David S. Cunningham, professor of religion and director of The CrossRoads Project at Hope College, has received a first-place "Gold Award" for Religion in "ForeWord Magazine's" 2002 Book Awards.
The award was for his most recent book, "Reading is Believing: The Christian Faith through Literature and Film," published by Brazos Press."ForeWord Magazine" is an industry publication targeted primarily at independent booksellers. It was established to bring increased attention to the literary achievements of independent publishers and their authors. It is the only magazine showcasing reviews and title trends exclusively from that market. Cunningham's book is the first "ForeWord Magazine" award winner for Brazos Press.
"Reading is Believing" explores the basic elements of the Christian faith by examining their illustration in novels, plays, short stories, and films. Using the Apostles' Creed as an overall structure, the book explores 12 literary and/or cinematic meditations on topics such as the nature of Christ, the virgin birth, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and the resurrection of the body. The authors and directors of the works used to illustrate these themes include Graham Greene, P. D. James, Iris Murdoch, Barbara Kingsolver, Martin Scorcese, and Giuseppe Tornatore.
Cunningham joined the Hope faculty this summer. He directs The CrossRoads Project, Hope College's program for the theological exploration of vocation funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The program is designed to help members of the Hope community to think about their lives in terms of vocation or "calling." In particular, CrossRoads will sponsor a number of activities to help students to explore the relationship between their own gifts and the world's needs. Cunningham also a faculty appointment in the Department of Religion.