Benjamin E. Park, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Park 2017Education

PhD, History, University of Cambridge, 2014

MPhil, Political Thought, University of Cambridge, 2011

MSc, Theology in History, University of Edinburgh, 2010

BA, English and History, Brigham Young University, 2009


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Benjamin Park studies the intersections between religion, culture, and politics in America, mostly during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and often within a broader Atlantic context. His first book, American Nationalisms: Conceiving Union in the Age of Revolutions, 1783-1833, examines how local contexts influenced ideas of nation and union during the fifty years following political independence. He is currently working on two new projects, one an analysis of the Transcendentalists’ political theology and the other a narrative of the Mormon city of Nauvoo as a moment of democratic crisis.

In support of his research, Dr. Park has received fellowships from the University of Missouri’s Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, Boston University’s American Political History Institute, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Brigham Young University’s Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. His scholarship has appeared in Journal of the Early RepublicEarly American Studies, Journal of American Studies, American Nineteenth Century History, Journal of Religion and Society, and Journal of Mormon History. Dr. Park has been invited to speak at institutions including Oxford University, Auburn University, and the College of Charelston, and has delivered papers at annual conferences including the American Historical Association, American Society of Church History, and the Society for United States Intellectual History.

Dr. Park’s public writing have included essays in NewsweekWashington PostTalking Points MemoDallas Morning NewsReligion and Politics, Religion Dispatches, Christian Century, and Patheos. He is a founder of both The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History and Juvenile Instructor: A Mormon History Blog. Dr. Park has served on editorial boards for Journal of Mormon History and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and currently serves on the executive board for the Mormon History Association as well as an associate editor of Mormon Studies Review.

More information can be found at, and his professional blog is

Selected Publications

American Nationalisms: Imagining Union in an Age of Revolutions (Cambridge University Press).

Democracy's Discontents: A Story of Politics, Polygamy, and Power in Mormon Nauvoo (under contract, W.W. Norton/Liveright).

"The Angel of Nullification: Imagining Disunion in an Era Before Secession," Journal of the Early Republic 37:3 (Fall 2017).

“The Bonds of Union: Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster, and Federalism’s Contexts,” Early American Studies 15:2 (Spring 2017).

 “Seeking Early America’s Identities in the Atlantic World,” 49th Parallel: An Interdisciplinary Journal of American Studies 33:2 (Fall 2014).

“Transcendental Democracy: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Political Thought, the Legacy of Federalism, and the Ironies of America’s Democratic Tradition,” Journal of American Studies 48:2 (April 2014).

“Early Mormon Patriarchy and the Paradoxes of Democratic Religiosity in Jacksonian America,” American Nineteenth Century History 14:2 (Summer 2013).

“‘I Object to the Names Deism and Infidelity’: Theodore Parker and the Boundaries of Christianity in Antebellum America,” Journal of Religion and Society 15:1 (January 2013).

“‘Reasonings Sufficient’: Joseph Smith, Thomas Dick, and the Context(s) of Early Mormonism,” Journal of Mormon History 38:3 (Summer 2012).

“(Re)Interpreting Early Mormon Thought: Synthesizing Joseph Smith’s Theology and the Process of Religious Formation,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44:2 (Summer 2012).