I am an assistant professor of religious studies in the Department of Classics & Religious Studies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


I graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College. I received masters and doctoral degrees in the study of religion from Harvard University. I have held fellowships at the Tanner Humanities Center of the University of Utah and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry of Amherst College.

My first book, Race and the Making of the Mormon People, (University of North Carolina Press) was published in September 2017.

Here is some excerpts from the first reviews of the book:

“Max Perry Mueller’s Race and the Making of the Mormon People . . . unearths the buried stories of black Mormons such as Jane Manning James, who was close to Mormon founders like the (Joseph) Smith family.” — Martin Marty, Sightings

“Max Perry Mueller, a historian at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, argues that Mormonism is a quintessentially American religion. . . . Yet, while the story of race and the LDS Church is similar to other American experiences of race, it’s also distinctive, leaving Mormons to grapple with the legacy of racism and white supremacy in their own way.” –The Atlantic

“Mueller’s excellent book tells us that race is a story we collectively write about ourselves.”
–Association for Mormon Letters

Race and the Making of the Mormon People is a mature, meditative, and mighty engagement with a complex topic. Scholars of American religion and race, not to mention those engaged in the academic analysis of Mormonism, will be struggling with his conclusions for quite some time.” –Benjamin Park, Junto

“[Max Perry Mueller’s] new book Race and the Making of the Mormon People argues that the Book of Mormon both reinforced and challenged nineteenth-century Americans’ ideas about race–and that it set the stage for how Mormonism would develop in the decades to come.” –Jana Riess, Religion News Service

My research focuses on American religion, religion and politics, the African Diaspora, and the American West.

As a scholar invested in connecting the academy and the wider public, my writing has appeared in the Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, among other national publications. I am also co-founder and the former associated editor of Religion and Politics (religionandpolitics.org).

I am currently working on two new book projects. Wakara’s America is a cultural history of Wakara (1808-1855), the Ute warrior chief, infamous horse thief, Indian slave trader, and onetime Mormon elder who led an Indian uprising against his would-be Mormon brethren. Republics of Race and Religion, is a global history of the interaction between religion and the modern nation state.

I can be reached at max.mueller@unl.edu.

Follow me on Twitter @maxperrymueller