Scholarly Inquiry: Patrick Mason

By March 11, 2011

Our next Scholarly Inquiry will be with Patrick Mason, who will in the fall assume the Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. We invite you to submit questions for Patrick – on his research, present and past, on his work at Notre Dame, and of course, on the Hunter Chair, below; answers will soon be forthcoming.

Patrick Mason is currently Research Associate Professor at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and Associate Director for Research of a multi-year research initiative called “Contending Modernities: Catholic, Muslim, Secular.” In the fall he will assume his new duties as Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Patrick earned his BA in history at BYU and MA degrees in history and peace studies at Notre Dame, where he also earned his PhD in history, for which he wrote his dissertation, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Mob: Violence against Religious Outsiders in the U.S. South, 1865-1910.” From 2007-2009 he was Assistant Professor of History and Associate Director of the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University in Cairo.

His new book is The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has also published articles on topics including the history of Utah state legislation against interracial marriage, anti-Jewish violence in the South, the role of religion in the African American protest tradition, the possibilities of Mormon peacebuilding, and most recently on theodemocracy in 19th-century Mormonism.

Article filed under Scholarly Inquiry State of the Discipline


  1. Before the Claremont position, how did you feel your academic work on Mormonism factored into your job market search?

    Comment by Ben — March 11, 2011 @ 5:25 am

  2. What is your current Mormon-themed research?

    Comment by David G. — March 11, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  3. Any reflections on your time in Egypt you’d care to share?

    Comment by Kevin Barney — March 11, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  4. How has your research on (anti)Mormonism in the South been received by historians of religion in the South?

    Comment by Christopher — March 11, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  5. I second David G.’s question.

    Also what direction, conference themes, or guest speakers and topics do you envision during your tenure at Claremont?

    Comment by Morgan D — March 11, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  6. What do you think that the Mormon Studies Chair’s relationship should be vis a vis the institutional church? How do you plan to navigate your position of authority on Mormon studies in relationship to areas of contemporary relevance of Mormonism, whether it is presidential politics, Broadway, gay marriage, or other issues? In short, how do you intend to position yourself relative to Mormonism and “outside” interest in Mormonism? That is sort of an open, perhaps vague, question, but given your new spotlight, I am curious about how you see yourself using it.

    Comment by TT — March 11, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  7. Given your association with Notre Dame, I’m interested in whatever influence Catholicism may have – or, that you see potentially emerging in the future – on Mormon intellectual life, particularly your own. Particularly relevant here, I suppose, is this concept of ‘peacebuilding.’

    Comment by matt b. — March 11, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  8. Can you tell us about the process of transforming the dissertation (on Mormons and other groups) to the book (centered on Mormons)?

    Comment by David G. — March 11, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  9. Finished the Mormon Menace a few weeks ago and enjoyed it for the most part. What future area do you plan to explore in Momrmonism in possible book form>

    Comment by Ryan L — March 12, 2011 @ 1:14 am


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