Faculty

Kathleen Flake

Richard Lyman Bushman
Professor of Mormon Studies

Education

Ph.D., University of Chicago

M.A., Catholic University of America

J.D., University of Utah

B.A. Brigham Young University

Research Interests

American Religious History – the adaptive strategies of 19th and 20th century American religious communities and the effect of pluralism on religious identity. Religious Studies – the constructive function of text and ritual in maintaining and adapting the identity and gendered power structures of religious communities. American Legal History – the influence of American law on American religion and the theological tensions inherent in the First Amendment religious clauses.

Core Classes

  • Mormonism and American Culture
  • Church-State Conflict
  • American Religious Innovation
  • Modern American Marriage in Historical Context
  • Religious Liberty in Historical and Theological Perspective
  • America’s Bibles

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Mark Denninghoff

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer 
in Mormon Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., Purdue University
  • M.A., University of Utah
  • B.A. Brigham Young University

Research Interests

Mormon studies; subnational regime change; Democratization; American Political Development; Modernization Theory; State Development and State Formation; Comparative Church-State Tensions;

Courses

  • Mormonism and American Culture
  • Religion and Governments of the World
  • Religion and American Political Institutions
  • Religion Democracy and Modernity in the US

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Spencer Wells

Research Scholar and Executive Assistant 
in Mormon Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., The College of William and Mary
  • B.A., Brigham Young University

Research Interests

Spencer is particularly interested in the intersection of freedom of conscience and association in American religion, as well as the lives of those on the fringes of their faith. Spencer also studies the experiences, place, and influence of religious minorities in American history.

Courses

  • American Religion, American War: 1776-1864

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Other American Religions Faculty

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Matthew Hedstrom

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
and American Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (American Studies)
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin (American Studies)
  • B.A., Haverford College (History)

Research Interests

American religion and culture in the late 19th- and 20th centuries; Protestant and post-Protestant religious modernity in the United States; and the history of the book, as it applies to American religious history. Race, religion and psychology, the history of spirituality, mass culture, religious liberalism, cosmopolitanism and internationalism all figure into my research and teaching.

Courses

  • Spirituality in America
  • Historiography of American Religion
  • Introduction to American Studies

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Heather Warren

Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Education

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University
  • M.Div., Emory University
  • B.A., University of Oxford
  • B.A., Cornell University

Research Interests

American religious history: the many forms of Protestantism and its relation to American culture since the colonial period; the Christian Realists; cooperation among Protestant and Jewish religious educators in the 1920s; and character in 20th-century, mainline Protestantism.

Courses

  • Religion in American Life and Thought, 1865-Present
  • American Religious Autobiography
  • Introduction to Western Religious Traditions

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Eric Braun

Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Education

  • PhD in Religious Studies, Committee for the Study of Religion at Harvard University
  • B.A., University of Georgia

Research Interests

Burmese (Myanmar) Buddhism; Burmese traditions of meditation and the transformations of meditative practices as they spread around the world.

Courses

  • Early Buddhism
  • The historical development of Buddhist meditation traditions
  • South and Southeast Asian Buddhisms
  • Theravada Buddhism, particularly the Buddhist traditions of Myanmar
  • Buddhism and the modern world
  • Buddhism in America

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