J. Spencer Fluhman

  • Profile portrait of J. Spencer Fluhman

Executive Director
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Associate Professor of History
Brigham Young University

A Peculiar People

Mormon Studies Review

  • Spencer Fluhman Portrait
  • About Spencer

    J. Spencer Fluhman is executive director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and associate professor of history at Brigham Young University. He graduated summa cum laude from BYU and received masters and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    His research takes up the question of religious identity and the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Journal of Religion and Society, Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies Quarterly, and Mormon Historical Studies. His article, “An ‘American Mahomet’: Joseph Smith, Muhammad, and the Problem of Prophets in Antebellum America,” (Journal of Mormon History, 2008) won the T. Edgar Lyon Award for Best Article of the Year from the Mormon History Association in 2009.

    His first book, “A Peculiar People”: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press, 2012) won the Mormon History Association’s Best First Book Award in 2013. In 2014, he won the Mollie & Karl Butler Young Scholar Award in Western Studies from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. He is currently at work on a biography of LDS apostle James E. Talmage (under contract, Oxford University Press).

    He has held office in the American Academy of Religion, American Society of Church History, and Mormon History Association. He has served as editor-in-chief of Mormon Studies Review since 2013.

Books & Articles

“A Peculiar People”

Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America

  • A pleasure to read. Fluhman’s deeply researched work explores the tangled relationship between anti-Mormon and Mormon histories with a degree of thoroughness and comprehensiveness never before achieved.”

    — Amanda Porterfield, The Florida State University

    This book brilliantly situates these polemics in religious history, exploring a rich vein of argument about the nature of religion in nineteenth-century America.”

    — Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania Law School

    As Fluhman shows in marvelous detail, Mormonism was the great scandal of American nineteenth-century religion.”

    — The New Yorker

To Be Learned Is Good

Essays on Faith and Scholarship in Honor of Richard Lyman Bushman

Edited by J. Spencer Fluhman, Kathleen Flake, and Jed Woodworth

  • What does the future hold for Mormonism in the academy? How does personal faith impact one’s scholarship? How might scholarly women and men speak of faith in secular places and times? This volume contains vibrant exchanges on these and other questions from the memorable scholars’ colloquium held in honor of historian and Latter-day Saint Richard Lyman Bushman.

Contact Spencer

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    801 422–9889

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    Neal A. Maxwell Institute
    Brigham Young University
    Provo, Utah 84602