Philip L. Barlow has accepted the position of associate director at Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. His tenure will officially begin upon his retirement from Utah State University in December 2018. Barlow has held the Leonard J. Arrington Endowed Chair in Mormon Studies at USU since 2007.
During his time at USU, Barlow served as an ambassador for the university and published multiple academic books and articles on the subjects of religion and culture, with special attention to Mormonism. His books include the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (Oxford University Press, 2001), Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-Day Saints in American Religion (Oxford, updated 2013), and The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism (Oxford, 2015), which he co-edited with Terryl Givens.
In addition to his work at USU, Barlow spent the past year as a Neal A. Maxwell Fellow at the Maxwell Institute in Provo, Utah. Institute executive director J. Spencer Fluhman said Barlow’s contributions have been invaluable. “Professor Barlow helped build the Institute’s current collaborative research model,” Fluhman said. “Everyone associated with the Maxwell Institute looks forward to his continuing influence as a scholar, colleague, and friend.”
As associate director, Barlow will coordinate scholarly mentoring and supervise the Institute’s various seminars, lectures, workshops, and discussion series. As a Maxwell Fellow, he plans to continue his research and writing on the “war in heaven” in the history of ideas, lore, and literature of Latter-day Saints. Learn more about his current research here.
“It is a tender time for my wife and I,” Barlow said, “as we contemplate leaving an idyllic existence among extraordinary colleagues and friends in our beloved Cache Valley. But I am also excited to try to contribute to the remarkable emergence developing at the Maxwell Institute.”
Barlow replaces former associate director Kristian Heal, who has returned full time to his research responsibilities.
USU plans to honor Barlow’s outstanding career at a reception and lecture on November 1, 2018. This June, USU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences will host a reception for him at the Mormon History Association conference in Boise, Idaho.