What Questions does Mormonism Illuminate?

How can a study of Mormonism inform your particular discipline? What questions does Mormonism call upon us to ask, that may enrich our broader understanding of history or of the human condition?

Terryl Givens

Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English, University of Richmond

Originally, Mormon historians kind of had a monopoly on Mormon Studies, and it turns out that Mormonism has a lot to say to other disciplines. The best work in Mormon Studies that is being done today are studies that integrate Mormon Studies into pre-existing fields.

 

Grant Wacker

Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Christian History, Duke Divinity School

Mormonism, like Pentecostalism, helped me understand the larger American experience. . . . If you grasp the contours of one you begin to grasp the other, and then the much larger nature of American religion and American culture.

 

 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

300th Anniversary University Professor of History, Harvard University

The tumult of the nineteenth centurythe great stresses and strains of that culmination of cholera epidemics, malaria, migration, social disruption, povertythe Mormon story helped me to understand that in the United States as a whole in that period.

 

James Faulconer

Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, Brigham Young University

There’s this chaotic stuff out of which God has formed a universe. So what is this material stuff, and how do we think about it? How is it related to intelligence and humanity, and so on?

 

Ann Taves

Virgil Cordano Chair of Catholic Studies, UC Santa Barbara

One of the biggest questions that Mormonism allows us to explore is the question of the emergence of new religious movements. It provides massive amounts of primary source material that allow us to explore those beginnings.