Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction

In March Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction will be published as a part of Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series. For those unfamiliar with the series, Oxford has put out over 300 titles written by "experts" in particular fields (the volume on Kant by Roger Scruton from the University of London, for instance is a fantastically accessible introduction). They are brief (around 100 pages 4x6 inches), and meant for the non-specialist. Richard Bushman is the author of the volume on Mormonism. … [Read more...]

Announcement: All-Blog Symposium on “Mormonism and Modernity”

As you may know, I am an advanced student at a local VCR repair school in South Dakota. Recently, I have been listening to a number of people, and a reading a number of books, on the issue of the VCR in modern life. Representatives from a number of VCR manufacturers are examining this technology in light of the contemporary technological, informational, political, and diverse age in which we live. These questions have got me thinking in a similar way about the conditions of modernity (and … [Read more...]

A Course on Mormonism at Harvard

For the first time in the history of the Harvard Divinity School (as far as I can tell), a course on Mormonism ("Mormonism and the American Experience" taught by Melissa Proctor) will be offered. … [Read more...]

My Margaret Barker Experience

I first heard about Margaret Barker seven years ago and have watched from the sidelines as LDS scholars have fallen all over themselves after her ideas. However, I have never read her work. My avoidance of her work changed when a friend of mine sent me one of her lectures for comment (this is a great way to maintain a long-distance friendship, btw). It was worse than I imagined. I listened to the 35 minute lecture probably 10 times and just got more frustrated every time. I am slightly … [Read more...]

Wilford Woodruff Conference at Yale

This upcoming conference at Yale is the same weekend as the conference on Mormonism and Politics at Princeton. It looks like there are going to be some interesting papers, but it is unclear exactly if any of them are going to be more than historical recitations. If you are in the area, please go and let us know how it was!The only question is why this conference is being held at Yale. All but one of the presenters is BYU faculty (Richard Lambert is a US attorney in Utah who runs the Mormon … [Read more...]

Conference Announcement at Prinecton

“Mormonism and American Politics”Princeton University, November 9-10.Mitt Romney’s run for the White House raises perennial questions about the place of religion in the public square and offers scholars an interesting occasion to reconsider the contested intersection of religion and politics. The media has made much of Romney’s religion and so have some sectors of the American public. What can we learn from public attitudes about Mormonism? Are the religious beliefs of a political candida … [Read more...]

Is there a Mormon Diaspora?

Diaspora studies have become increasingly important in recent years. Anthropologists, political activists, theologians, linguists, and others have moved to the diaspora communities for rich research and fascinating studies. LDS scholars and thinkers have not been unaware of this trend and have sought to capitalize on this conceptual framework for making sense of contemporary Mormonism. There is no doubt that there has been a major shift in LDS populations leaving Utah for California, the East … [Read more...]

The Study of Mormonism: A Growing Interest in Academia

In light of the recent FARMS post, I wanted to briefly discuss an article I came across by M. Gerald Bradford, published in a recent FARMS Review. I should first state how impressed I was to see an LDS scholar trained in a Religious Studies program, addressing the role of Mormon Studies within the context of Religious Studies. Bradford even lays out a brief outline of "Religious Studies", influenced by Ninian Smart (former Professor at UCSB, and leading figure in the development of the field of … [Read more...]