Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup – Welcome to 2014

By January 5, 2014

Here is the first Mormon Studies Roundup of the year — a summary of news, research and announcements.

Final Reviews of 2013

BYU Humanities Professor George Handley argues that biggest news in the LDS community in 2013 was the church’s new statement about conservation and stewardship.

Best of FPR Blog at Patheos – A review of some of their best posts from 2013

LDS Church Gospel Topic Page

In the wake of the Church’s recent statement on Race, which acknowledges that the priesthood and temple ban likely originated with Brigham Young, the Salt Lake Tribune interviews two of his biographers.   Ronald W. Walker, a Mormon historian and retired Brigham Young University professor, and John G. Turner professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University provide an assessment of Brigham Young.

The church releases another new Gospel Topic page. This time on the Book of Mormon Translation effort:

“Nevertheless, the scribes and others who observed the translation left numerous accounts that give insight into the process. Some accounts indicate that Joseph studied the characters on the plates. Most of the accounts speak of Joseph’s use of the Urim and Thummim (either the interpreters or the seer stone), and many accounts refer to his use of a single stone. According to these accounts, Joseph placed either the interpreters or the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument.”

Same Sex Marriage Debate in Utah

With the continuing developments on same-sex marriage, Dialogue Journal decides to release Wilfried Decoo’s “As Our Two Faiths Have Worked Together”—Catholicism and Mormonism on Human Life Ethics and Same-Sex Marriage” from the latest Fall 2013 issue.

Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences

2014 AAR MidWest Region Meeting  Ohio Northern University, Ada Ohio,  April 4-5, 2014?

Calls for Papers Submission Deadline: January 7, 2014

The Midwest Region invites research presentation proposals related to the academic study of religion from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and encompassing a wide range of religious and cultural phenomena. Proposals for papers on any topic related to the academic study of religion are due January 7, 2014.

2014 AAR Eastern International Regional Meeting,  Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, May 2–4, 2014

 Call for Papers Submission Deadline: February 15, 2014

The Eastern International Region of the AAR invites you to submit proposals for papers and panels to be presented at the 2014 Regional Meeting.  Alongside the regular panels, the conference will include a series of special sessions on the theme of 19th Century Upstate New York Religions and Their Heirs.  The program committee is interested in proposals related to their special theme which would include submissions on the history and legacy of Mormons.

Early Bird Registration for The Berkshire Conference on the History of Women (in Toronto!) starts January  15th.  JIer Natalie Rose is on the program presenting “Becoming ‘Worthy’ Women: Mormon Rites of Passage, 1890 to 1930.”

Book Related

The Maxwell Institute Announces the “Living Faith Book” Series with the first title being announced tomorrow.  According to the Maxwell Institute Blog, the “Living Faith” book series “will commend and defend the faith more explicitly than our other publications, while still maintaining the highest academic standards.”

A Review of Cowboy Apostle: The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins, 1875-1932, Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson, ed. at Worlds Without Ends

Jason Metcalf has compiled A Historical Tour of the Kingdom of Deseret, Volume III, 3rd Edition

Around the Web

John L. Crow wonders Is it time to just absorb the traditions and methodology of New Religious Movements into the larger purview of religious studies and/or sociology of religion … or does the field of NRM studies serve a very important, and vital role to the domain of religious studies and the sociology of religion?

An interview with Susan Easton Black Durrant

Portraits from Nauvoo Temple Celestial Room Donated to LDS Church

Margaret Blair Young shares her Mormon Literature Syllabus.

See something we missed? Feel free to link to it in the comments.





Article filed under Miscellaneous Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup


  1. Thanks for the list of links, Kris. And welcome back to the blog!

    Comment by Christopher — January 5, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  2. Well done.

    Comment by Ben P — January 5, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

  3. Thanks for the round-up, Kris.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 6, 2014 @ 12:04 pm


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