Christopher James Blythe is a Research Associate at the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies. In 2019 he was named co-editor of the Journal of Mormon History. He also is co-president of the Folklore Society of Utah. His book, Terrible Revolution: Latter Day Saints and the American Apocalypse will be published by Oxford University Press in the summer of 2020. He has coedited two volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers Documents series.
Blythe earned a Ph.D. in American Religious History from Florida State University. He received a master’s degree in History from Utah State University in 2011. His master’s thesis was awarded best thesis from the Mormon History Association. Dr. Blythe also holds bachelor’s degrees from Utah State University and Texas A&M University in Religious Studies and Anthropology, respectively. Prior to Dr. Blythe’s employment at the Maxwell Institute, he was a historian and documentary editor for the Joseph Smith Papers, a predoctoral teaching fellow in Mormon Studies at Utah State University, as well as an instructor at Salt Lake Community College, Tallahassee Community College, Brigham Young University, and Florida State University.
Blythe’s work blends the methodologies of history, folklore, and religious studies. His work has appeared in a number of academic journals including the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, BYU Studies, the Journal of Religion, Journal of the Bible and Its Reception, Material Religion, and Nova Religio. His article. “Would to God I Could Tell You Who I Am”: Nineteenth Century Mormonisms and the Apotheosis of Joseph Smith,” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religion 18, no. 2 (2014): 5-27, was the recipient of the Article of Excellence Award by Mormon History Association and the Thomas Robbins Award for Excellence in the Study of New Religious Movements.
At the Institute he is currently working on a cultural history of Book of Mormon geography.
Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Volume 7, September 1839-January 1841 (Church Historian’s Press, 2018). With Matthew Godfrey, Spencer McBride, and Alex Smith.
Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Volume 9, December 1841-April 1842 (Church Historian’s Press, Forthcoming, 2019). With Alex Smith and Christian Heimburger.
Terrible Revolution: Latter-day Saints and the American Apocalypse (Forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2020)
“From the Book of Mormon to the Circle Seven Koran: Scriptures of American New Religions,” Religion Compass, 2019.
“Brigham Young’s Newly Located February 1874 Revelation,” BYU Studies Quarterly 58, no. 2 (2019): 173-177.
“The Exorcism of Isaac Russell: Diabolism and Nineteenth Century Mormon Identity Formation,” Journal of Religion 98, no. 3 (July 2018): 305-326.
“Prophetess of Endor: Reception of 1 Samuel 28 in Nineteenth Century Mormon History,” Journal of the Bible and Its Reception 4, no. 1 (April 2017): 43-70.
“Ann Booth’s Vision and Early Conceptions of the Spirit World among Latter-day Saints,” Brigham Young University Studies Quarterly 56, no. 2 (2017):105-122.
“‘A Very Fine Azteck Manuscript’: Latter-day Saint Readings of Codex Boturini,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 26 (2017): 185-217.
“Emma’s Willow: Anxiety and Pilgrimage in Mormon Nauvoo,” Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief 12, no. 4 (December 2016): 405-432.
“Would to God I Could Tell You Who I Am”: Nineteenth Century Mormonisms and the Apotheosis of Joseph Smith,” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religion 18, no. 2 (November 2014): 5-27.
OTHER ONLINE PUBLICATIONS
“‘Until we have clearer knowledge’—On Book of Mormon geography in church history,” Maxwell Institute blog, February 1, 2019.
“Newly located Brigham Young revelation discusses United Order,” Maxwell Institute blog, December 10, 2018.
“‘Ye Shall Call the Church in My Name,’” Maxwell Institute blog, October 10, 2018.
Kurt Manwaring, “10 questions with Christopher Blythe,” October 1, 2019.
“Interview with Christopher Blythe,” in Hugh B. Urban, New Age, Neopagan, and New Religious Movements (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), pp. 57–59.
“Nauvoo, the Beautiful and Malaria Infested,” LDS Perspectives Podcast, episode 79.