Janiece Johnson has accepted the position of visiting research associate at the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies. Unique in the academy, this position provides the opportunity for full-time scholarly engagement with the keystone scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Willes Center supports the faithful study of the Book of Mormon as a legitimate and valued field of academic inquiry.
J. Spencer Fluhman, Maxwell Institute executive director, notes that Dr. Johnson joins the Institute as the inaugural scholar in what will become a rotating stream of visiting researchers dedicated to the Book of Mormon.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Johnson to our research community,” he said. “She’s pursuing important research on the Book of Mormon’s reception among the Latter-day Saints and we look forward to her contributions. She’ll be a great asset to the Institute over the next year.”
Dr. Johnson earned her PhD in American History from the University of Leicester. Her recent publications include The Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the Restoration (author, Deseret Book) and Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers (general editor, University of Oklahoma Press). More recently, she turned her attention to the Book of Mormon—especially the way early Latter-day Saints interacted with the new book of scripture.
“I’m very happy for this opportunity to join the Maxwell Institute,” Johnson said. “I’m eager to further explore and better understand the relationship of the Book of Mormon to early converts and the effect of an expanded canon on early LDS practice. I consider it a privilege be able to focus on a project that has intrigued me for a long time.”
Johnson has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies since 2015. You can read her latest publication—a review of the Joseph Smith Papers volume on the Book of Mormon printer’s manuscript—here.
Johnson will begin her year-long research association in September at the conclusion of her three-year term as visiting professor in Religious Education at BYU-Idaho. For updates on her research, follow the Maxwell Institute on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or subscribe to our podcast and blog.