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Grant number like: FS-50026-04

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Brigham Young University (Provo, UT 84602)
Grant Underwood (Project Director: March 2004 to October 2006)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$119,558 (approved)
$119,558 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2004 – 9/30/2005

Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormonism: Bicentennial Perspectives

A six-week summer seminar for college teachers on the place of Joseph Smith and Mormonism in the American cultural landscape.

The year 2005 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion. Over the past half-century, scholars have explored how Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saint past can be used to address larger questions of American cultural and religious history. Mormon studies have proliferated to the point that historian Nathan Hatch observed that “early Mormonism may soon rival the Puritans as the most studied of American religious phenomena.” In the face of such an outpouring, the bicentennial provides a timely occasion to take stock of this scholarship. What was it in American culture that allowed a religion like Mormonism to flourish? What questions did Joseph Smith and the Mormon experience pose for American society?