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This panel discussion series will touch on such themes as Mormonism's intellectual legacy, women's history, race and gender, and LDS institutional dynamics

In conjunction with the Marlin K. Jensen Scholar in Residence program, Brian Birch's course on "The Intellectual Life of Mormonism" is hosting a four-part discussion series featuring Mormon Studies scholars during the fall semester at the University of Utah's Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center (map).

Panel discussions will be held in Room 143 (The Jewel Box) from 7:00-8:30pm with Q&A to follow. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

IMPORTANT: We respectfully request you RSVP to John Boyack at a week before each panel.

Thursday, September 29th, 7:00-8:30 PM
“Mormonism’s Intellectual Legacy: Nibley, Bennion, McMurrin, & Arrington”

Mary Bradford is author of Lowell Bennion: Counselor, Teacher, Counselor, Humanitarian and Leaving Home: Personal Essays; editor of Mormon Women Speak, and former editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

Jackson Newell is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership & Policy and Dean of Liberal Education at the University of Utah; President Emeritus of Deep Springs College, co-author of Matters of Conscience: Conversations with Sterling McMurrin, and a former co-editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 

Boyd Petersen is a professor in the Department of English & Literature and Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies, Utah Valley University; author of Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life, and current editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

Gregory Prince is an Independent historian and author of Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History, David O. McKay and the Making of Modern Mormonism, and Power from on High: The Development of the Mormon Priesthood.

Thursday, October 27th, 7:00-8:30 PM
“Writing Women’s History in Mormonism: Old Challenges, New Prospects”

Colleen McDannell is the Sterling M. McMurrin Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of History, University of Utah; author of Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America, Heaven: A History, and The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America

Linda King Newell is author of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith; past president of the John Whitmer Historical Association and the Mormon History Association, and former co-editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

Kate Holbrook is a specialist in women’s history in the Church History Department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is the co-editor of Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives and The First Fifty Years of the Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History.

November 17, 7:00-8:30 PM
"Race and Gender: Contemporary Perspectives" 


December 8, 7:00-8:30 PM
"The LDS Church and the Academic Study of Mormonism: Institutional Dynamics"


For information on attending individual class sessions (Thursday evenings), please contact Brian Birch at

For general information, please contact the Tanner Humanities Center at 801/581-7989 or


About Brian D. Birch

Brian D. Birch, Marlin K. Jensen Scholar in Residence, Tanner Humanities Center, Fall 2016
Director of the Religious Studies Program & Center for the Study of Ethics
Office Location: Tanner Humanities Center, 141

Brian D. Birch is director of the Religious Studies Program and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University. He specializes in the philosophy of religion, ethics, religious pluralism, and the interdisciplinary study of Mormonism. He is the founding editor of Teaching Ethicsand Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Parliament of the World's Religions. He is completing his current book project entitled Mormonism Among Christian Theologies(with Grant Underwood) for Oxford University Press and has begun work on his new project entitled The Intellectual Life of Mormonism: Reason, Faith, and Science Among the Latter-day Saints. In 2016, he was named Marlin K. Jensen Scholar in Residence at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center.


Last Updated: 9/27/16