Last Lecture: The End of Religion
November 1, 2018
Faculty member Philip L. Barlow, the Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, will retire in December. A much-loved teacher and accomplished scholar, Barlow nurtured a generation of young scholars of American religious history. Many of his students have gone on to prestigious doctoral programs and successful careers in a variety of fields. His courses at USU included such classics as Religion, Evil, and Human Suffering, as well as Biography, Autobiography, and Joseph Smith.
After earning his BA in history at Weber State College, Barlow received his master’s degree in the history of Christianity from Harvard and his Th.D. in American Religious History and Culture from Harvard Divinity School. Before coming to USU in 2007, he was the chair of the Department of Theological Studies at Hanover College in Indiana. He helped build USU’s Religious Studies Program in its crucial early years, shaping the curriculum, mentoring new faculty, and building community support.
Barlow has published widely on Mormon history and culture, including his books Mormons and the Bible, The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism, and New Historical Atlas of Religion in America. He has also published roughly three dozen articles and book chapters exploring questions of religious pluralism, Mormon history, and religious biography.
Following his retirement, Barlow will serve as Associate Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University, where he will supervise the Institute’s seminars, lectures, workshops, and discussion series.