Philip L. Barlow is a scholar and administrator who specializes in American religious history, religious geography, and the religious tradition and theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2019, he was appointed associate director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He served on the Maxwell Institute’s advisory board executive commtttee from 2016 through 2018.
From 2007 to 2018, Barlow was the first full-time professor of Mormon studies at a secular university as the inaugural Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. Previously he spent 17 years in the department of theological studies at Hanover College in Indiana.
Barlow holds a ThD (doctorate of theology) from the Harvard Divinity School, where he previously earned a master’s degree in theological studies. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Weber State College.
While in the Boston area, he taught at the Church’s Institute of Religion. He was a Mellon post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester.
Barlow's first book, Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford, 1991, 1997) analyzed Latter-day Saint uses of the biblical text, including issues revolving around the Church’s official backing of the King James translation. In 1992, the Mormon History Association (MHA) awarded the volume its Best First Book Award. He was president of the MHA in 2006.
Barlow is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Deborah, are the parents of six children.