By July 3, 2015
[Today we are happy to have the second post in our guest series from UofU-bound-PhD student Jeff Turner. Make sure you didn’t miss his first post last week.]
In the first volume of the Mormon Studies Review, Thomas Tweed writes, “in this brief essay I want to discuss Mormon displacement and emplacement, as Twain did, and I want to propose that consideration of these two themes, and others, shows that the Latter-day Saints offer an exceptionally generative case study for translocative history, historical accounts that trace cultural flows across geographical boundaries, and comparative analysis, the justly maligned but still useful strategy of interpreting one tradition in terms of another.” While Tweed spends a significant portion of the essay addressing a comparative approach, he also suggests that missions and migration are two opportunities for a translocative study of Mormonism. In following this vein, we might ask: what might such a study of Mormonism look like?
By June 25, 2015
[Today’s guest post comes from Jeff Turner, who recently completed a master’s degree at Claremont Graduate College where he worked with Patrick Mason in the Mormon Studies Program. This fall he will be a PhD student in history at the University of Utah.]
As far as I can tell, it’s been at least a year since JI has featured a post on conversion, which means that it’s time for us to take a trip back in our Delorean and uncover a topic that might be forgotten under a layer of dust.
Take, for example, two stories of two different English converts to Mormonism in the 1850s. First, in 1853, an Englishman attended his first Mormon meeting, encountered religious enthusiasm, and converted: “At this meeting, a testimony meeting, one young woman spoke in tongues and many of those present bore their testimony to the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. This was something new to us and had a great impression upon our minds as being the truth and reasonable… So we were then and there baptized by James Woods in the baptismal font of the chappel yard… We attended meetings as often as circumstances would permit and our minds began to be lit up by the Holy Spirit which caused our hearts to rejoice.”
By February 4, 2015
From the John Whitmer Historical Association organization:
Do you love church history? Visit the annual John Whitmer Historical Association meeting at Independence, Missouri, September 24–27, 2015. Listen to presentations and discuss historical events with some of the most knowledgeable authors like Erin Metcalfe, Newell Bringhurst, Joseph Johnstun, and many more. Even better, propose your own paper and present your research on a topic pertinent to the Restoration. The proposal deadline is April 1, 2015. Directions for submission can be found here.
By January 30, 2015
[Looks like a great program, including a smattering of JIers–always a good sign for a successful conference.]
Claremont Mormon Studies Conference
Community, Authority, and Identity
Claremont Graduate University
March 6-7, 2015
925 N. Dartmouth Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
By November 25, 2014
Church History Library Intern
ID 120839, Type: Full-Time – Temporary
UT-Salt Lake City
Posting Dates: 11/20/2014 – 12/12/2014
Department: Church History Department
By November 20, 2014
From our friends at the Joseph Smith Papers:
We invite you to subscribe to a forthcoming newsletter from the Joseph Smith Papers Project. This newsletter will be released twice a year and will include
- updates on the project
- discoveries from the documents
- information on new releases
We hope you will find it useful and informative as you study the documents of Joseph Smith.
Click here to be added to our list. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends and colleagues who may be interested in the project.
Having trouble subscribing? Please make sure you type in your entire email address. The autocomplete functions of some browsers cause the form to malfunction. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com, and we’ll be glad to add you to the list.
By November 10, 2014
The Second Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology
“Christ and Antichrist: Reading Jacob 7”
Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York
June 8—June 20, 2015
Sponsored by the Mormon Theology Seminar
in partnership with
The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies and
The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
By October 13, 2014
A reminder to our readers that the Fifth Biennial Faith & Knowledge Conference will be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on February 27 and 28, 2015. The submission deadline for proposals is November 7, 2014. Please note that, unlike previous years, the conference is now officially open to LDS graduate students and early career scholars in religious studies and related academic disciplines interested in the intersections of scholarship and religious faith. Three members of this year’s committee (Rachael Givens Johnson, Joseph Stuart, and Christopher Jones) are all bloggers here at the Juvenile Instructor; please contact us if you have any questions.
THE FIFTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE
University of Virginia
February 27-28, 2015
By October 9, 2014
The University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center is proud to present the Fall 2014 McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture with David Campbell, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and co-author of the recent book Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics. Campbell’s lecture, titled “Whither the Promised Land? Mormons’ Place in a Changing Religious Landscape,” will be held on Thursday, October 30 at 7:00 PM in the Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium, 210 E 400 S. This event is free and open to the public. More information at www.thc.utah.edu.
In his lecture, Campbell will explore how Mormons fit into a society where once-sharp religious distinctions have blurred and secularism is on the rise. With their high levels of religious devotion and solidarity, Mormons in America are increasingly “peculiar.” Does their peculiarity come at a price? Does that price include a “stained glass ceiling” in presidential politics? In other words, did Mormonism cost Mitt Romney the White House? And, how has Mitt Romney’s campaign affected popular perceptions of Mormonism?
By September 28, 2014
Another week, another Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup
On the more academic side of things, the annual conference of the John Whitmer Historical Association kicked things off this weekend in Lamoni, Iowa. Check out the twitter feed for JI Ben’s tweets on the conference. The feed also confirms rumors that LDS Church Historian Steven E. Snow is in attendance. BYU’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections has advertised a position for Curator of 19th and 20th Century Mormon and Western Americana Books. Also, the Mormon Texts Project announced that five historical Mormon e-books have been added to Project Gutenberg. If you’re in the Logan area next week, come hear venerable historian Ron Walker speak on Brigham Young and the Utah War at the 20th Annual Arrington Lecture.
Elder Snow and other Church History Department officials spoke at a press conference recently that provided details on the Church History Museum’s permanent exhibit renovation, “The Heavens Are Opened,” scheduled to open October 2015. As several media outlets noted, the new exhibit will augment the museum’s artifact collection with technology to enhance the story of the early Restoration (1820-1846). These newspaper articles interpret the new exhibit within the church’s recent efforts to approach its history with transparency (with the Joseph Smith Papers and the Gospel Topics essays as the most notable examples), as the exhibit will attempt to tackle difficult historical issues, such as multiple accounts of the First Vision, seer stones and Book of Mormon translation, and Nauvoo polygamy.
By September 12, 2014
One final announcement for the week:
Dialogue, a Journal of Mormon Thought, seeks an editor for the five-year term that will begin in 2016 and end in 2020. The new editor will inherit a journal with a fifty-year tradition of superb editorial leadership and a strong reputation as a premier publisher of academic and creative work related to Mormonism. Candidates must be available to begin assembling an editorial board and production team during the first half of 2015 and to begin work, during a six-month transition, on July 1, 2015.
Details concerning the scope of the editor’s duties, the qualifications sought, and the application requirements may be found on the Dialogue website at this link. Applications, which should consist of a cover letter with a statement of philosophy or vision, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample, must be submitted no later than November 1, 2014, to Morris Thurston (Morris@MorrisThurston.com), chair of the Search Committee. Questions may be directed to any member of the Committee, which also includes Patrick Mason, Michael Austin, Fiona Givens, Robert Goldberg and Laurie Maffly-Kipp.
By September 10, 2014
From the event‘s organizers:
Date: September 20, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Wells Fargo Center Building at 1300 SW 5th Ave.
At the offices of Davis Wright Tremaine
Located on the Max Green line stop at 5th and Jefferson
There are several parking lots/garages in the vicinity.
Full day parking on Saturday is between $5 and $6.
By September 9, 2014
Please note the approaching deadline (October 1, 2014). This conference promises to be MHA’s best yet.
Call for Papers
2015 Provo, Utah
50th Anniversary Conference
“Mormon Cultures, Cultural Mormons”
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Mormon History Association, whose annual conference will beheld in Provo, Utah, on June 4–7, 2015, at the Utah Valley Convention Center. We invite papers and presentations that consider Mormon history in its broadest possible sense, as well as those which reflect retrospectively on the history of the MHA itself at its first half-century mark.
By July 16, 2014
We’re pleased to announce the Fifth Biennial Faith & Knowledge Conference, to be held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on February 27 and 28, 2015, and to post the Call for Papers below. Please note that, unlike previous years, the conference is now officially open to LDS graduate students and early career scholars in religious studies and related academic disciplines interested in the intersections of scholarship and religious faith. Three members of this year’s committee (Rachael Givens Johnson, Joseph Stuart, and Christopher Jones) are all bloggers here at the Juvenile Instructor; please contact us if you have any questions.
THE FIFTH BIENNIAL FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE
University of Virginia
February 27-28, 2015
By July 11, 2014
The Joseph Smith Papers project is in search of a research assistant. See here for the full details:
By June 12, 2014
This post was originally supposed to be about the women’s history panels at the Mormon History Association last week. It was supposed to be a celebration of the work that has been done and an outline of what remains to be done. The letter that was sent to Kate Kelly on June 8th – the anniversary of the extension of the priesthood to all worthy men regardless of their race – changed all of that. We felt that the Juvenile Instructor could not be the only blog not to post something. Ultimately, Amanda HK, Kris, and Andrea decided that an appropriate response would be to write a history of women’s excommunication in the LDS Church and then to offer their own thoughts.
By May 2, 2014
Today’s contribution to our “Mormon Studies in the Classroom” series comes from Grant Hardy. Perhaps the foremost scholar on the content of the Book of Mormon, Grant is well known in Mormon studies circles with his Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide and The Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Edition. He is a professor of history and religious studies at UNC-Ashville.
I’ve taught this course a couple of times. It was designed as a freshmen orientation class, which at UNC-Asheville means that it should be of general interest, it can’t count toward a major, and it has to incorporate a number of components on study skills, advising, time management, campus resources, etc. But it is supposed to focus on an academic topic that can engage both the professor and the students. In this case, the topic is a comparative study of world scripture, with readings primarily taken from the opening chapters of sacred texts. (The title “Beginning of Wisdom” is a nod toward Leon Kass’s marvelous book on Genesis.)
By April 25, 2014
Another contributor in our Mormon Studies in the Classroom series, Patrick Mason is the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.
“Approaches to Mormonism” is designed as a historiographical introduction to Mormonism and the field of Mormon studies (with a strong Mormon history component). This is a graduate seminar for MA and PhD students that I have taught twice at Claremont Graduate University. When I last taught it in Fall 2013 the seminar had about a dozen students, with a mix of LDS and non-LDS backgrounds.
Here is how I describe the course in the syllabus: “This course will introduce students to representative approaches used by scholars in the academic (non-polemical, non-apologetic) study of Mormonism. . . . Students will read exemplary works representing various disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of Mormonism, and in the process will be encouraged to consider ways that Mormon studies has been shaped by, and can potentially shape, other established academic fields and disciplines. This course asks questions such as whether there exists a Mormon studies canon, where the gaps and blind spots are in the extant literature, and what the future of Mormon studies might hold—not to mention whether we can speak intelligibly about something called ‘Mormon studies.’”
By April 22, 2014
As the first installment of our new series, this post is from JI’s good friend Christopher Blythe. Chris is a graduate of Utah State University, and is now a PhD candidate in religious studies at Florida State University. He has published broadly on the divergent Mormon traditions, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the John Whitmer Historical Association.
Bringhurst and Hamer’s Scattering of the Saints was a watershed moment for the study of divergent Mormonisms.
In 2008, while a Master’s student at Utah State University, Philip Barlow invited me to be his assistant for a course entitled, “Mormonisms.” This was Barlow’s first time teaching the course and his third Mormon Studies course at USU. He had some general ideas of what he wanted accomplish in the course, but I was fortunate to be able to help flesh out the curriculum, assignments, and schedule for the course. This was my first teaching experience in which I lectured roughly every fourth class period. I think it’s a fun exercise to imagine teaching the course once again. Six years later, how would I reimagine this class?
The objective of this course was and would continue to be to problematize the standard telling of Mormon history and Mormon thought. Rather than examining Mormonism through the teachings and history of one Church, we would see that Mormon thought was always diverse and in contest. This is crucial for understanding the development of Mormonism (i.e. the current face of any one institution of Mormonism is not inevitable but based on historical events and personalities), but also to emphasize the point (first made by Jan Shipps) that Mormonism is not one new religious movement, but an entirely new religious tradition with its own branches and schools of thought.
By April 8, 2014
From our friends at the Joseph Smith Papers
Historian/Documentary Editor, Joseph Smith Papers
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