For those of you not familiar with it, the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture, headquartered at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is a leading “research and public outreach institute that supports the ongoing scholarly discussion of the nature, terms, and dynamics of religion in America.” Among others things, they sponsor and host academic conferences, publish the bianual Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, and host a seminar for Young Scholars in American Religion (whose roster of mentors and seminarians reads like a who’s who of the best and brightest in the field).
I thought readers might be interested in the Center’s newly-revamped website. Those of you familiar with the old site will immediately recognize and appreciate the fresh new design and functionality of the newest incarnation. For everyone interested in the scholarly study of religion in America, it promises to be wonderfully rich resource. And for those of you interested in Mormonism and American culture, there are a couple of items you’ll want to note.
First, the latest issue of Religion and American Culture features a forum on “Contemporary Mormonism: America’s ‘Most Successful’ New Religion,” with contributions from Terryl Givens, Kathryn Lofton, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, and Patrick Mason. Ryan provided a nice overview of that forum here at JI in March.
Second, the new website has now posted the audio recordings of a conference held last September at the Center on “Mormonism in the 21st Century.” It features commentary from veteran scholars of religion like Jan Shipps and Phil Barlow, Mormon politician Bob Bennett, and the always insightful Jana Riess, as well as an open discussion moderated by Kathleen Flake. For those of you without access to the journal or without the time to sit down and read the essays therein, this should be especially welcome news.*
*For those of you who take the time to listen, feel free to the comments section of this post as a forum for discussion the several presentations.