Jan Shipps: A Social and Intellectual Portrait: How a Methodist Girl from Hueytown, Alabama, Became an Acclaimed Mormon Studies Scholar


by Gordon Shepherd and Gary Shepherd
A significant contribution to understanding both a unique scholar and Mormon historiography.” —Kathryn M. Daynes

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Book Description:

How did Jo Ann Barnett—a Methodist girl born and raised in Hueytown, Alabama, during the Great Depression and World War II—come to be Jan Shipps, a renowned non-Mormon historian and scholar of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? In Jan Shipps: A Social and Intellectual Portrait, authors Gordon Shepherd and Gary Shepherd tell the story of how Shipps not only became an important and trusted authority in a field that was predominantly made up of Mormon men, but also the crucial role she played in legitimizing Mormon Studies as a credible academic field of study.
Q&A with the authors

Praise for Jan Shipps: A Social and Intellectual Portrait

Unique among scholars of Mormonism, Jan Shipps, an Alabamian Methodist woman, is a puzzle. She became the consummate insider-outsider and author of a groundbreaking study of the Church’s origins. Gordon Shepherd and Gary Shepherd have beautifully unraveled the puzzle in an admirable mix of biography and analysis. Jan Shipps is a significant contribution to understanding both a unique scholar and Mormon historiography. Kathryn M. Daynes, author of More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System 1840-1910

About the Authors:

Gordon Shepherd obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently professor of sociology at the University of Central Arkansas. With Gary Shepherd, he is co-author of Mormon Passage: A Missionary Chronicle (University of Illinois Press, 1998), Binding Heaven and Earth: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism (Penn State University Press, 2012), and co-editor (with Lavina Fielding Anderson) of Voices for Equality: Ordain Women and Resurgent Mormon Feminism (Greg Kofford Books, 2015).

Gary Shepherd obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah and his PhD from Michigan State University. He is the former department chair of sociology and anthropology and professor emeritus at Oakland University. With Gordon Shepherd, he is co-author of Talking with the Children of God: Prophecy and Reformation in a Radical Religious Group (University of Illinois Press, 2010), and A Kingdom Transformed: Early Mormonism and the Modern LDS Church (University of Utah Press, 2015).

More Information:

254 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58958-767-0 (paperback); 978-1-58958-768-7 (hardcover)

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