Cover for SHIPPS: Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons. Click for larger image

Sojourner in the Promised Land

Forty Years among the Mormons
Awards and Recognition:

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2002

An intimate and eloquent history of America’s fastest-growing religion from its leading “outsider” scholar

Infused with Jan Shipps’s lively curiosity, scholarly rigor, and contagious fascination with a significant subculture, Sojourner in the Promised Land presents a distinctive parallel history in which Shipps surrounds her professional writings about the Latter-day Saints with an ongoing personal description of her encounters with them. By combining a portrait of the dynamic evolution of contemporary Mormonism with absorbing intellectual autobiography, Shipps illuminates the Mormons and at the same time shares with the reader what it has been like to be on the outside of a culture that remains both familiar and strange.


“Shipps, the foremost scholar of Mormonism, describes her 40-year sojourn among the Latter-day Saints in this brilliant collection that is part intellectual autobiography and part religious history. . . . In chronicling the ‘diaspora’ that has made Mormonism a global religion, and in dissecting her own experiences as a non-Mormon commentator on these transformations, Shipps offers compelling and perceptive examples of change over time.”--Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

"Sojourner in the Promised Land is the product of an ingenious creator, a discoverer and inventor of illuminating conceptual categories, and a thorough scholar. Shipps's entrepreneurial instincts as a historian, her genial and gregarious ways as a person, and the sympathetic but penetrating treatment of Mormonism proffered by this Methodist scholar combine to form a unique recipe. There are a handful of other scholars of Mormonism whose minds are in the same league as Shipps's, but few or none surpass her clarity, gracefulness, and lack of pretense."--Philip Barlow, author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion


Jan Shipps is the president of the American Society of Church History and professor emeritus of history and religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She is the author of Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition and coeditor of The Journals of William E. McLellin.

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