Mormonism in the American Experience

Guest Lecturers


Matthew S. Holland
Matthew S. Holland is the President of Utah Valley University, where he has been serving since June of 2009. Before assuming his current position, President Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought, including BYU's large general education sections of American Heritage. His scholarly research on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life garnered national attention. In 2005, he won Princeton University's James Madison Fellowship. In 2007, his book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, was published by Georgetown University Press. He graduated from Brigham Young University with honors in 1991, and was valedictorian for the political science department. That same year he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship for a year of graduate study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before going on to earn his master's degree and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, President Holland served as chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group.
Kristine Haglund
Kristine Haglund is editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. She is a noted Mormon historian and cultural commentator and has been a regular contributor to the weblogs By Common Consent and Times and Seasons. With an A.B. from Harvard in German Studies and an M.A. from the University of Michigan in German Literature, her research interests include gender and religion, Mormon women's and children's history, and religious publications in new media. Recent publications include "The Best Place to Deal with Questions: An Interview with Brady Udall," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (2010), "Mormon Publishing, the Internet, and the Democratization of Information," Patheos, (2010), and a review of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race by Willie James Jennings (2010), as well as forthcoming papers in anthologies by Oxford University Press and the University of Utah Press. She lectures widely on Mormon topics and has presented papers at the College of the Holy Cross, the Center of the American West, Utah Valley University, Southern Virginia University, the University of Utah, and Claremont Graduate University. She lives in Belmont, Massachusetts with her three children.
Frederick Gedicks
Fredrick Gedicks holds the Guy Anderson Chair at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He is widely published on law and religion, constitutional law, and constitutional interpretation, including articles or essays in the Boston College Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Emory Law Journal, George Washington Law Review, Indiana Law Journal,Southern California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Virginia Law Review. He has also published two books, Choosing the Dream: The Future of Religion in American Public Life (Greenwood Press), and The Rhetoric of Church and State: A Critical Analysis of Religion Clause Jurisprudence (Duke University Press). Professor Gedicks's current research focuses on the effects of belief on American law and society, the Religion Clauses of the 1st Amendment, and the original meaning of the Due Process Clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments. Among his recent publications are "God of Our Fathers, Gods for Ourselves: Fundamentalism and Postmodern Belief," 18 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal; and "Truth and Consequences: Mitt Romney, Proposition 8, and Public Reason," Alabama Law Review.
Kate Holbrook
Kate Holbrook is a research specialist at the LDS Church History Department. With a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School in world religions, and as a Ph.D. candidate in American Religious History from Boston University, she specializes primarily in LDS women's history. She was the inaugural recipient of the Eccles Fellowship in Mormon Studies at the University of Utah. Her research there focused on twentieth century Mormon food habits and their social and cultural implications. She also co-directed and participated in the recent conference entitled "Women and the LDS Church" at the University of Utah. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and three daughters.
Grant Underwood
Grant Underwood is professor of history at Brigham Young University and author of The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism (University of Illinois Press) and Voyages of Faith: Explorations in Mormon Pacific History (Brigham Young University Press). Prior to his current appointment, he served as a research historian in the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at Brigham Young University. He is the founding co-chair of Mormon Studies Group in the American Academy of Religion and is currently working on Mormonism Among Christian Theologies for Oxford University Press, which explores points of contact and divergence between Mormonism and the broader Christian tradition. He published the entry for  "Mormonism" in the Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements (Routledge) and serves as volume co-editor for the Documents series in the Joseph Smith Papers Project.
James Faulconer
James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding and a professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University. He has published Appropriating Heidegger; Transcendence in Philosophy and Religion; Faith, Philosophy, Scripture; The Life of Holiness: Romans 1, 5-8; and The Doctrine and Covenants Made Harder, and he was the founding editor of Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy. Faulconer writes a weekly column, "Speaking Silence," for the on-line religion library, Patheos. He is the former dean of General Education and Honors and chair of the Philosophy Department at Brigham Young University. Faulconer currently serves as associate director for the Wheatley Institution and has recently accepted a position in London to build the presence of BYU in Europe.
J. Spencer Fluhman
J. Spencer Fluhman is assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University, where he teaches American religious history. He graduated summa cum laude from BYU and received masters and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has held fellowships from the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture (IUPUI) and the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History (BYU). His research takes up the question of religious identity and the intersection between religion and politics in the United States. His work has appeared in the New York TimesJournal of Religion and Society, Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, and Mormon Historical Studies. His article, "An 'American Mahomet': Joseph Smith, Muhammad, and the Problem of Prophets in Antebellum America," (Journal of Mormon History, 2008) won the T. Edgar Lyon Award for Best Article of the Year from the Mormon History Association in 2009. He is the author of “A Peculiar People”: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2012.
Patrick Mason
Patrick Mason is the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. He directs the Department of Religion's programs in North American Religion and Mormon Studies, and also currently serves as department chair.  He is the author of  The Mormon Menace:  Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011), and co-editor, with David Pulsipher and Richard Bushman, of  War and Peace in Our Time:  Mormon Perspectives (Greg Kofford Books, 2012).  He earned his graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame in history and international peace studies.  Prior to joining the CGU faculty Mason held positions at the University of Notre Dame and American University in Cairo.  His current research projects include a biography of Ezra Taft Benson and a co-authored book developing a Mormon theology and ethic of peace. Dr. Mason has become a nationally recognized authority on Mormonism with regular appearances in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, and ABC News.
Philip Barlow
Philip Barlow is is the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University. He earned a B.A. from Weber State College and an M.T.S. and Ph.D. (1988, with an emphasis on Religion and American Culture and on the History of Christianity) from Harvard University. He spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at the University of Rochester after which he became professor of Theological Studies at Hanover College in Indiana. He will teach introductory courses in Religious Studies and Mormon and American Culture as well as upper-level courses in American religion, and explorations of time, silence, and film. While teaching at Hanover College, Dr. Barlow was the recipient of Hanover's Arthur and Ilene Baynham Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1995 and 2001. In addition to articles, essays, and reviews, Dr. Barlow has published Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991); the New Historical Atlas of Religion in America (Oxford, 2000, co-authored with Edwin Scott Gaustad); and, as co-editor with Mark Silk, Religion and Public Life in the Midwest: America's Common Denominator? (Alta Mira Press, 2004). He is past president of the Mormon History Association.
Lisa Tait
Lisa Tait has a PhD in English, with an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Houston. Her dissertation research and subsequent publications have focused on gender and generational dynamics in the 1890s as the Mormons headed into the turbulent period known as "Mormonism in transition." She is working on a biography of Susa Young Gates, a daughter of Brigham Young who was an influential women's leader and prolific Mormon writer during that period. Lisa serves as chair of the executive committee of the Mormon Women's History Initiative Team, an independent group that works to foster networking and scholarship in the field. She teaches in the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University.