Editor’s note: This news brief was updated on Oct. 25, 2021, to clarify that Keel’s book is nonfiction.

Terence Keel, associate professor of African American studies and at the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, has won an Iris Book award for his non-fiction book, “Divine Variations: How Christian Thought Became Racial Science.”

The Iris Book Award is an annual prize given by Indiana University’s Center for Religion and the Human to an outstanding work at the intersection of science, religion and technology. Keel’s book, published by Stanford University Press in 2018, focuses on how religious ideology continues to influence scientific thought.

“Receiving the second Iris Book Award is truly a great honor. I am fortunate to have a network of scholars working in many different fields who helped inspire ‘Divine Variations,’” Keel said. “I believe the forms of racial violence and discrimination being underwritten by science and medicine require new approaches for us to see exactly what people of color have stacked against them. Until we detach ourselves from the belief that racial differences come from nature and whites are closer to God, we will continue producing scientific racism along with the legal and economic conditions that sustain social inequality.”