Jan Shipps: A Social and Intellectual Portrait: How a Methodist Girl from Hueytown, Alabama, Became an Acclaimed Mormon Studies Scholar
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“A significant contribution to understanding both a unique scholar and Mormon historiography.” —Kathryn M. Daynes
“This is important reading for any who hope to understand Shipps or the emergence of the field in which she worked.” —Phil Barlow
“There is much to learn here about Mormonism itself and those who studied it.” —Kathleen Flake
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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.
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
“The person and work of Jan Shipps comprise one of the ten most important factors enabling Mormon Studies to eclipse its parochial past. Authors Gordon and Gary Shepherd have adroitly marshalled the tools of history and social science to lay bare how this unlikely event came to be. This is important reading for any who hope to understand Shipps or the emergence of the field in which she worked. Important also for any scholar feeling that the deck in a competitive academy is stacked against them.” —Phil Barlow, Neal A. Maxwell Fellow at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University.
“Jan Shipps deserves and the Shepherds are to be thanked for this celebration of her celebrated career. The authors rightly insist this is not a thorough treatment of Jan’s life but rather an account of her role in the rise Mormon Studies in the late-twentieth century. It was a watershed time and Jan was a creator of and catalyst to much of the best scholarship which flowed from it. As such, there is much to learn here about Mormonism itself and those who studied it during this period.” —Kathleen Flake, Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies, University of Virginia
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).
ISBN: 978-1-58958-767-0 (paperback); 978-1-58958-768-7 (hardcover)