Joseph Smith Summer Seminar: Call for Applications

By October 13, 2008

from my inbox:


“Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought”
Brigham Young University
May 26-July 3, 2009

In the summer of 2009, Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates on the theme of Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought. The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from May 26 to July 3. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3000 plus a housing subsidy if needed. The seminar continues the series of seminars on Joseph Smith begun in the summer of 1997.

The seminar will be conducted by Terryl Givens, Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, and Matthew Grow, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana, under the direction of Richard Bushman.

The aim of the seminar will be to investigate the writings of Parley and Orson Pratt, and their influence on the development of nineteenth-century Mormon thought. After Joseph Smith, the Pratts were the most important figures in developing, systematizing, and promulgating the doctrines of early Mormonism. A major focus will be establishing what was original in their thought and what was borrowed or derivative. We will explore the theological, intellectual, and cultural contexts behind the Pratts’ work, and ask what was lasting and what was ephemeral in their influence on subsequent Mormonism. Each participant will prepare a paper for presentation in a public symposium in the final week and for later publication.

Applications are welcomed from students of history, literature, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, philosophy and other humanistic and social scientific fields. Preference will be given to those with knowledge of Latter-day Saint history and experience in analyzing texts. Advanced undergraduates and graduate students at any level of preparation are eligible.

Applications should be submitted by February 15, 2009. Notifications will be sent by March 15, 2009. For application materials, write to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute by surface or email.

Summer Seminar on Joseph Smith
200 WAIH
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
email: phone: (801) 422 7154 fax: (801) 422 0040

Article filed under Announcements and Events


  1. Looks exciting! I am glad to see Matt Grow getting involved.

    Comment by TT — October 14, 2008 @ 10:03 am

  2. Thanks for the email Ben, the announcement is now up at

    I’m hopeful they get some participants with experience in philosophy and theology. We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to the Pratts for their contributions in that field.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — October 14, 2008 @ 10:42 am


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