Articles by

J Stuart

Billy Graham and Mitt Romney: The Importance of October 2012

By February 21, 2018


Billy Graham, the most important figure in twentieth-century American Christianity, died this morning at the age of 99. You?ll have the opportunity to read countless obituaries or columns on his life, evangelistic prowess, stances on race, sexuality, his conversations with Nixon about Jews, and his theatrical preaching in postwar America. I?m sure you?ll also read about his son, Franklin, and the roles that the Grahams have played in the election of Reagan and Trump. Historian Anthea Butler called Graham the closest thing to a Protestant Pope that America has ever had. I think she?s right. Graham?s meteoric rise in film and radio is the stuff of legend. He preached to more than a hundred million people in person and taught a particular way to be Christian and American.

The most important thing that Graham ever did for Mormonism was remove it from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?s list of ?cults.?[i] He did so after a meeting with Mitt Romney in October 2012, during the home stretch of the Republican presidential nominee?s campaign, in an attempt to increase the evangelical vote.

Mormonism no longer being named as a cult by the most prominent voice in American evangelicalism was a major coup for the LDS Church and its members. Although scholars no longer use the term cult, it has a powerful meaning in Christian communities (just ask Pastor Jeffress). Latter-day Saints, who have wanted to be a part of the White Protestant Establishment since the early twentieth century, had been excluded because of their views on the trinity, sexuality, and other non-creedal views. But, at least for the 2012 election, Graham gave Mormonism, and its most famous adherent, his blessing.

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Paid Student Internship at Nauvoo, Illinois

By February 12, 2018


From friend of JI Nancy Ross:

I have been informed that there is a paid history internship (related to LDS/Community of Christ history), which comes with housing and up to 6 credits in history from Graceland University. This is for undergrads and graduate students. Please forward the information to interested parties.

Please check out the description here:

http://www.cofchrist.org/common/cms/Human-Resources/History-Intern-Nauvoo-PD-1-19-18.pdf

To apply, the forms are below and you need to send them to hrm@cofchrist.org

https://www.cofchrist.org/common/cms/Human-Resources/Job%20Descriptions/Application-IHQ.pdf

This is a well-established internship and I can also put interested people in contact with someone who has done this internship before.

Image result for nauvoo illinois


Announcing MHA Executive Director Search

By February 5, 2018


See original post HERE

Position:  Executive Director, Mormon History Association

This person oversees and administers all aspects of the organization, reporting to the MHA President and Board of Directors.

About MHA:

The Mormon History Association is a nonprofit, independent, nondenominational organization dedicated to the scholarly study and understanding of all aspects of Mormon history, broadly defined. We promote this mission through scholarly research, conferences, awards, and publications.

Qualifications:

Proven record of experience in administrative work, preferably in the nonprofit field, with demonstrated competence in the following areas: accounting/bookkeeping and records management; public relations and communications; fundraising, donor relations, and capital development; event planning and coordination. Must demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, and ability to be innovative and creative in generating new ideas and responding to external demands. Proficiency in newsletter publishing software, electronic communications, and records management is required; web design and social media expertise strongly preferred. The position requires personal flexibility, energy, diplomacy, and the ability to work independently.

The MHA Executive Director need not be a scholar of Mormon history, but should be able to enthusiastically support and publicly represent the organization?s mission, as well as interacting with the MHA membership which includes both professional historians and enthusiasts from a variety of religious backgrounds (or none at all).

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State-of-the-Field and Publication Workshop: Mormon Studies

By January 29, 2018


Last year, Kris W. and I hosted a Mormon Studies Publication Workshop at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The workshop helped to create a sense of community among young scholars from a variety of places and disciplines while providing helpful feedback for developing projects. We were especially glad to receive so many excellent submissions on race, gender, and sexuality and were grateful to the Danforth Center for hosting scholars from California to Massachussetts. You can read more about the meeting here.

This year we will host another workshop on June 6, 2018 as a pre-conference option at the Mormon History Association conference in Boise, Idaho. The workshop, ?Beyond the New Mormon History: Trends and Methodologies,? will be held Thursday, June 6 from 9 AM-5 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.

ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY:

In a change from past years, anyone that is interested in Mormon Studies in any discipline may apply to participate in the workshop. Women and less represented groups are especially encouraged to apply and will receive preference in the selection process. The paper you propose to present must touch on Mormonism in some way (comparative studies are welcomed). Participants should be physically present in Boise to participate in the workshop.

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The Marlin K. Jensen Mormon Studies Scholar and Artist in Residence Program at the Tanner Humanities Center

By January 23, 2018


The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah is proud to offer its annual fellowship in the name of Marlin K. Jensen.  Our Marlin K. Jensen Scholar and Artist in Residence Program hosts prominent scholars with expertise in Mormon Studies or renowned artists who explore the relationship between faith and art in their work.

Marlin Keith Jensen was a general authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), serving as the official Church Historian and Recorder from 2005 to 2012. During his tenure, Jensen built bridges between the Mormon Church and the academy and worked to give the Church?s History Department international range, make its holdings more accessible to researchers, and publish primary materials.  Jensen was made an emeritus general authority in 2012.

The fellowship is flexible in terms of time commitment and tasks.  Applicants are asked to submit a clear plan for their time as fellow, up to a semester in length, which broadens our campus and community?s understanding of Mormonism, its people, and institutions.  Academic as well as independent scholars are encouraged to apply.

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Graduate Fellowship in Mormon Studies at the Tanner Humanities Center, University of Utah

By January 23, 2018


The Tanner Humanities Center will award a graduate fellowship in Mormon Studies for the 2018-19 academic year. The fellowship encourages, in all facets, the scholarly explorations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its people, values, history, culture, and institutions.  This fellowship is designed to enable doctoral students of unusual ability and achievement to engaging in research and writing full time. Projects should focus on topics related to the history and/or culture of Mormonism. Eligible disciplines include: Communication, English, History, Languages, Law, Philosophy, and Political Science, among others.

Graduate students will have successfully passed their Ph.D. or qualifying exams, and completed all course work by the beginning of the fellowship period (August 2018).

Fellows will receive a stipend of $20,000 and a private office with computer and telephone in the Center. Fellows may retain other forms of internal and external support that do not interfere with their dissertation work.

Applications may be found at https://thc.utah.edu/fellowships/mormon-studies.php.  The deadline for all materials is March 1, 2018.  Please send applications and letters of recommendation to Beth James, Associate Director, at beth.james@utah.edu.

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Bryce Harper and Mormon Masculinities

By January 22, 2018


Bryce Harper was the first Mormon to be compared to Lebron James. He was also the first Mormon to have a temper tantrum full of particular 4-letter words go viral. Bryce Harper also posed for ESPN’s The Body issue without a stitch of clothing on him.[i] He was, by any definition of the term in regards to styling and dress, immodest. Mormonism’s modesty culture encourages young people not to ?use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.? Harper is tattooed, rocks a perfectly-coiffed modern hair-do, and his eyes sear into the viewer. His body may be objectified, but he is not a passive observer. Quite the contrary. His stance, eyes, and rippling pectorals denote physical and charismatic power. Most casual observers would not peg him for an active Latter-day Saint.

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Heaven & Earth: Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith (Conference at UVU February 22nd-23rd, 2018)

By January 21, 2018


The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Brian Birch at brian.birch@uvu.edu or Boyd Petersen at boyd.petersen@uvu.edu 

The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.

Thursday, February 22 UVU Classroom Building (CB-511)

1:00-2:15 Eugene England Memorial Lecture

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?In My Father?s House Are Many Mansions?: Black Mormon Pioneer Experiences An Evening with Amy Tanner Thiriot

By January 17, 2018


From the LDS Church Museum’s website:

The first black members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were a vital part of the early history of the Church. They served missions and shared the gospel. As the Church moved west, they helped build Nauvoo and Winter Quarters and drove wagons across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. Once in the valley, they helped rescue the stranded Willie and Martin handcart companies, built roads and communities, and raised families in the Mormon settlements of the West.

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LDS Church President Obits in the NYT (PDF to Full Articles at Bottom of Post)

By January 10, 2018


For no reason at all, here are the headlines, as they currently stand, for each LDS Church President who had an obituary published in the New York Times:

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