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Mormon Studies Courses

New Series: Mormon Studies in the Classroom

By April 21, 2014


The flowing of Mormon studies in the print world has been well-documented. Presses are rushing for more titles on LDS topics, partly because they sell consistently well. While the quantity has sometimes overshadowed the quality of this movement, I think it is safe to say the field is much stronger as a result.

lecture-hallBut publications are only one part of the integration of Mormon studies into the academic world. Another important element is the inclusion of Mormonism in academic classrooms. This is done through several ways. The first is through better integration of Mormonism into broader courses (including classes on American Religous History, New Religious Movements, the American West, or even the classic American history survey). This is mostly accomplished as scholarly work on Mormonism becomes better known, and thus professors are more aware and likely to include it in their lectures, readings, or comprehensive exams. (I was interested to find out that here at Cambridge, the only question on religion in an undergraduate American history exam from a couple years ago was on the Mormon trek west.) Joseph Smith is always a popular topic for undergraduate students, and the Book of Mormon often serves as a surprisingly rewarding text for students to engage. Many have said that Sally Gordon’s The Mormon Question is the go-to text for teaching the intersection of religion and law in the nineteenth century. I imagine this will, and should, continue, as Mormon history becomes more intimately intertwined with the academic study of religious history.

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LisaT on History of LDS Youth: “Great work! Hey, I'm doing a project where some of this might be helpful...”


Jason K. on Review: Bergera, ed., CONFESSIONS: “Thanks for this great review. Three cheers for Mormon liberal Protestants!”


Kevin Barney on Review: Bergera, ed., CONFESSIONS: “Thanks for this excellent review, Matt.”


Wally on Review: Bergera, ed., CONFESSIONS: “Thanks, Matt. Interesting view into the life and diaries of a fascinating man who was probably thirty years before his time.”


J Stuart on Review: Bergera, ed., CONFESSIONS: “Thanks for this, Matt. From the first time I've read *Adventures of a Church Historian* I've wondered how Arrington could be so oblivious to church…”


Jeff T on Review: Bergera, ed., CONFESSIONS: “I love the nuance of Arrington, here, and the diaries seem like a great way to understand Mormonism forty years ago. Thanks, Matt!”

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