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February 19, 2008


Wow, this is a cool list! I wish I had had this list when I first came to BYU. Maybe I'll be auditing some courses in the fall . . .

Another one to add to your list would be the University of Utah's Anthropology of Mormonism (Anth 4143).

I think some of this publicity is just a response to Romney. In the mid-1990s Harvard Divinity School offered a similar course devoted specifically to Mormonism, taught by Timothy Fulop, a Protestant historian of early American religion. Difficult to keep Romney out of the loop, though, even then. Fulop found himself inundated by calls from the Kennedy campaign trying to figure out how to beat Romney without coming off as bigots.

Does SVU not have courses on Mormonism?

I combed the catalog of Southern Virginia University, but nothing there even looks tangentially related to Mormon Studies (No courses in religion, even). SVU is hosting the Mormon Scholars in the Humanities conference in May, 2008, but my impression is that they are a small liberal arts college that doesn't want to mount any programs it cannot sustain, and the Mormon angle there is supplementary to (and quite apart from) academics. In other words, they have a devotional series, but no one is teaching Mormonism as an academic subject.

"Does SVU not have courses on Mormonism?"
During my three years at SVU I was the only LDS member of the history faculty (there were three of us total). The concern was offering a wide enough variety of American and European history classes to sustain the major. I hoped to work up a Mormonism and the American Experience class, but the other demands superseded it.

I think HIST 4660 (Utah History) at the University of Utah would qualify for the list of courses beyond BYU with a Mormon Studies component.

I should add that Phil Barlow is teaching a class at USU this semester on the biographies of Joseph Smith. I get the impression that it is being taught under a special studies rubric and not on the books (yet?).

The syllabus for Barlow's class is here.

This is a great list. I would also add that Royal Skousen has taught Textual Criticism of the Book of Mormon through the Linguistics and English Language Department as a senior seminar (Elang 495). Also, Eric Eliason, and I think some others, have taught a Mormon folklore class at BYU that's popular.

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