John G. Turner

Hello. I write, teach, and speak about the place of religion in American history. I am a professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. You can find out a bit more about my academic and spiritual biography here.

Books. I've written a few books. Here are the covers along with some nice things other people have said about them:

Cover of They Knew They Were Pilgrims
They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty

A history of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, timed for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing.

“Turner takes readers deep into the complex world the Pilgrims inhabited, giving an old familiar story remarkable new life and power. The story he tells is at once entertaining, erudite, and wonderfully human.”—Margaret Bendroth

Cover of The Mormon Jesus
The Mormon Jesus: A Biography

The place of Jesus Christ in Latter-day Saint thought, artwork, and spirituality.

“The Mormon Jesus is ... a lively cultural history of how Mormons have thought of Christ from the Book of Mormon to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Scriptural translations, visions and revelations, temple ceremonies, songs, Sunday school lessons, paintings, sculpture, and poetry all figure in the story of Mormonism’s distinctive Jesus.”—Richard Lyman Bushman

Cover of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet
Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet

A prophet, colonizer, and politician who led his people to the Great Basin.

“Brigham Young is a landmark work… There is no aspect of Young’s fascinating life that eludes Turner’s scrutiny.”—Alex Beam, The New York Times Book Review

Cover of Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ
Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America

The history of one of the world's largest and most influential evangelical organizations.

"[An] intelligently contextualized biography ... Turner has done a wonderful job of bringing Bill Bright out of the shadow of Billy Graham and thereby greatly enhancing our understanding of the new evangelicalism."—The Journal of American History

Scholarship. Here are some things I'm working on:

Writing. Here is where I write online:

Speaking. I love speaking before all sorts of audiences, preferably friendly. If you would like me to come to your church, Mayflower Society, local historical society, or book group, please write me at