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The Salt Lake Mormon Studies Student Association will host Brian Cannon, Professor of History at BYU, on February 25, 2010 at 7 pm for a public lecture entitled: “Many Refractions of Light: Historians’ Treatment of Divine Influence in LDS History.”  The lecture will be held on the University of Utah Campus in the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, room 101 (main floor).

Abstract: “My survey examines the challenges that historians have faced in reconciling their religious convictions with their academic training and professional standards.  My paper begins with the first generation of LDS historians like Andrew Love Neff and Thomas C. Romney trained in the decade and a half prior to World War II; follows the experiences and influence of Leonard Arrington, his peers and his protégés through the 1960s, 70s and 80s; discusses the emergence of BYU as a focal point for LDS history in the 1960s and the controversies that arose from writing LDS history at BYU and in the Church Historical Department under Arrington; and surveys trends over the past 15 years (post-New Mormon History).” Continue Reading »

We had a great crowd tonight. Somewhere between 50 and 60 were in attendance. The SLMSSA would like to thank the Mormon Times for putting up a notice about the event beforehand which likely drew a number of attendees. We were pleased to have Steve Harper, professor of religion at BYU presenting on what insights memory studies can shed on the First Vision. Stay tuned to the SLMSSA website for details about future lectures and events. Also, see the Juvenile Instructor for other excellent Mormon conference reporting and historical content including this interesting letter from a Mormon Missionary in Mexico who takes a plural wife and informs wife #1 in a letter. Continue Reading »

Looking forward to seeing  you on Thursday at 7 pm for Steve Harper’s lecture in room 101 of the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building at the University of Utah. There is a bit of construction in the area, so I’m putting up this map to show where to go to get to the building and parking area [click on the image to get the full size]: Continue Reading »

The Salt Lake Mormon Studies Student Association will host Steve Harper, Professor of Church History at BYU, on January 28, 2010 at 7 pm for a public lecture entitled: “Memory and the First Vision.”  The lecture will be held on the University of Utah Campus in the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, room 101 (main floor).

Abstract: “The accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision are well known among historians of Mormonism.  However, no scholars have yet analyzed these documents in light of the scholarship on memory that psychologists and neuroscientists have generated in the last three decades.  In light of this scholarship, much that has been written and said concerning Joseph’s vision (by believers and unbelievers) appears to be based on assumptions that are not substantiated by the science of memory.  This informal presentation will discuss Joseph’s accounts in light of the science of memory.”

Mark your calendars! I will have a follow up post this week with details about how to get there, and parking. Also, as will be tradition, I will have details on place and time for those who would like to get together beforehand for dinner (Any recommendations? Steve, unfortunately, will not be able to make dinner).  We had a great turn out for dinner and lecture with Kristine Haglund (see notes here), and I hope we can make this and each SLMSSA lecture a success. Please pass this information to all interested parties and support SLMSSA by printing and posting this flier far and wide! You can email saltlakemormonstudies@gmail.com for a pdf or jpeg image.

I begin in the time-honored, much-ridiculed Mormon fashion of offering a disclaimer about my qualifications and a story about what happened when I was asked to give this talk.

The disclaimer: one of the great things about being an editor is that I never have to have any original thoughts. There may not be any good new ideas in this talk, in which case, all you have to do is submit some new papers to Dialogue so I can get my plagiarisms up-to-date. I’m also not trained as an historian, and the applicability of what training I have is highly questionable. I will therefore talk very fast so that we can get to the interesting part of the evening where you tell me about why I am wrong and what you are going to do about it. Continue Reading »

For our first Salt Lake Mormon Studies Student Association lecture, we’re pleased to have Kristine Haglund, editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, present a lecture entitled “Every Member An Historian: Why Mormon History is too Important to be Left to Professionals.”

When: December 3, 2009, 7 pm

Where: The Warnock Engineering Building (link to map), Room  1230 (The University of Utah).

Free parking is available right across the street from the Engineering building as show in the map linked to above. Room 1230 is on the street level.

This event is free and open to the public.

For further information, please email saltlakemormonstudies@gmail.com

Please pass this information on to any interested parties.

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