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Jordan Watkins

Assistant Professor
Church History and Doctrine

275A Joseph Smith Building
Provo, UT 84602


Jordan Watkins is from Alpine, Utah. He received a PhD in American history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He also has a BA in history from BYU and an MA in history from Claremont Graduate University. His current book manuscript examines the ways in which antebellum biblical and constitutional debates over slavery brought awareness to the historical distance separating Americans from their hallowed biblical and Revolutionary past. His interest in American history stems from a lifelong fascination with Latter-day Saint history, and his work in that field has appeared in the Journal of Mormon History and in the edited volume Parley P. Pratt and the Making of Mormonism (Arthur H. Clark, 2011). He has presented at conferences of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, the African American Intellectual History Society, and the Western History Association. He was a volume editor of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers before joining the faculty in Religious Education.

Courses Taught


  • REL C 225 : Section 024
  • REL C 225 : Section 033
  • REL C 324 : Section 006
  • REL C 324 : Section 009
  • REL C 225 : Section 005
  • REL C 225 : Section 006
  • REL C 225 : Section 028
  • REL C 225 : Section 030
  • REL C 324 : Section 007
  • REL C 324 : Section 008


  • REL C 225 : Section 018
  • REL C 225 : Section 031
  • REL C 324 : Section 009
  • REL C 324 : Section 011
  • REL C 225 : Section 005
  • REL C 225 : Section 024
  • REL C 324 : Section 009


  • REL C 225 : Section 007
  • REL C 225 : Section 018
  • REL C 324 : Section 010


  • REL C 324 : Section 003


  • REL C 324 : Section 002
  • REL C 324 : Section 005


  • Watkins JT. “The Constitution, The Bible, and God": Dred Scott and Historical Readings of Sacred Texts. NEH Summer Institute on Slavery and the Constitution. July, 2018.
  • Watkins JT. "The Question of the Day": Abolitionism in the Era of Slavery’s Constitutionalization. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. July, 2018.
  • Watkins JT. The Constitution in Crisis: Antislavery and Mormon Appeals, Critiques, and Creations. Mormon History Association. June, 2017.
  • Watkins JT. "Each Name and Every Past Has Its Use:" Historical Argument and Appeal in William C Nell’s Struggle for "A Second Revolution". African American Intellectual History Society. March, 2016.
  • Watkins JT. "Another Attucks”: The African-American Response to Dred Scott as a Historical Critique. American Antiquarian Society. October, 2015.
  • Watkins JT. "Progress Is Never in a Straight Line": American Slavery and Historical Contingency. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. July, 2015.
  • Watkins JT. "If a Form of Religion Rest on Written Documents": Theodore Parker’s Transcendental Approach to America’s Sacred Religious and Legal Texts. Society of US Intellectual History. October, 2014.
  • Watkins JT. Slavery, Sacred Texts & the Antebellum Confrontation with History. Massachusets Historical Society. July, 2014.
  • Watkins JT. “These Pages Prove the Melancholy Fact": Madison’s Papers and the Use of Historical Evidence in Antislavery Readings of the Constitution. Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference. March, 2014.
  • Watkins JT. The Apostle Paul, the American Founders, and the Fugitive Slave Law. Society of US Intellectual History. November, 2013.
  • Watkins JT. Mormon Polygamy and the Past: The Unsettled Historical Grounds of Nineteenth-Century American Social Reform. Mormon History Association. June, 2013.
  • Watkins JT. "The Historic Strife?": Massachusetts and the Civil War’s Shifting Temporalities. Massachusetts and the Civil War: The Commonwealth and National Disunion. April, 2013.
  • Watkins JT. "God and the Genius of the Age": The Historic Civil War, the Promised Emancipation Proclamation, and a Clouded Providential Lens. UNLV Graduate Research Forusm. March, 2013.
  • Watkins JT. Joseph S Buckminster and the Pastness of the Biblical Past in the New Republic. Boston Athenaeum. July, 2012.
  • Watkins JT. Clio and America’s Civil War. Massachusets Historical Society. May, 2012.
  • Watkins JT. Early Mormonism and the Re-Enchantment of Antebellum Historical Thought. Mormonism in Cultural Context: A Symposium in Honor of Richard Lyman Bushman. June, 2011.
  • Watkins JT. "Look Well to the West!" Constructing the Mormon Other in a Catholic Image. Mormon History Association. May, 2011.
  • Watkins JT. “The Central Figure of the Visible Sphere": The Invisible Spirit and the Godlike Individual in Emerson’s Nature. Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference. April, 2011.
  • Watkins JT. The Death and Birth of History: The French Revolution and the Development of Historical Thought. Southwestern Historical Association. March, 2011.
  • Watkins JT. American Wests: Three Nineteenth-Century Travel Writers and the Adaptation of a People. Western History Association. October, 2010.
  • Watkins JT. "Virtue Fled into the Wilderness": Parley P Pratt’s Mormon Vision of the American Frontier. Mormon History Association. May, 2010.
  • Watkins JT. "Philosophy is the Only True Historian": Emerson’s Philosophy of History. Southwest Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference. April, 2010.
  • Watkins JT. "All of One Species": Parley P Pratt and the Dialectical Development of Early Mormon Conceptions of Theosis. Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought. July, 2009.
  • Watkins JT. The Great God and the Divine Mind: Orson Pratt’s Intelligent-Matter Theory and the God of Emerson. Mormon History Association. May, 2009.
  • Watkins JT. Transmutational Theology: An Unofficial Authoritative View, Latter-day Saint Responses to Darwin, 1859-1933. Mormon History Association. May, 2008.
  • Watkins JT. Judge CC Goodwin and The Mormon Situation: Depicting a Tyrannical Despot. Mormon History Association. May, 2007.
  • Watkins JT. Comparative Perspectives on Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith Seminar . April, 2006.
  • Watkins JT. The Council of Fifty and "The Kingdom of God" in Mormon Thought. Sydney B Sperry Student Symposium. February, 2006.
  • Watkins JT. The Council of Fifty. Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. October, 2005.
Jordan Watkins