Claremont Mormon Studies

Claremont Graduate University • School of Religion

Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association

The Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association (CMSSA) is dedicated to providing an academic and social support structure for students, researchers, and professionals with an interest in the academic study of Mormonism. As an extracurricular extension of and support to Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University’s School of Religion, its main objective is to enrich, enliven, and engender intellectual conversations among students and with scholars. To this end, CMSSA hopes to assist the School of Religion in preparing young scholars by regularly sponsoring student and scholar research presentations, hosting critical topical discussions that will highlight issues especially relevant to the contemporary religious community, and sponsoring graduate-student conferences. Additionally, in harmony with one of the main objectives of the School of Religion, CMSSA will work with The Council for the Study of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when appropriate to foster constructively critical dialogue, and build bridges of understanding, between the religious community and the academy.

"What Is Mormon Studies?" Conference to be held April 23-24

Transdisciplinary Inquiries into an Emerging Field

Given the new academic chairs that have been established in Mormon studies, and the conferences, courses, and programs of similar designation around the world, we are entitled to ask “What is Mormon studies,” and who studies in such a field? Thanks to such interest in Mormonism, the academy now faces, among others, two significant lines of inquiry.

First, Mormonism’s complexities suggest how this religious movement likely resists categorization. is Mormon studies a viable new field? is it even a viable conceptual option for academic examination?

Second, from an academic standpoint, those who study Mormonism will in large part determine what Mormon studies becomes and how it proceeds. What are the various competing visions for what should be studied and advanced under this rubric? What various aspects of Mormonism will/should be considered appropriate or germane to investigation? What aspects will/should be eliminated from academic inquiry?

Conference Program

Friday, April 23

7:00 pm - Keynote Address

Jan Shipps, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Saturday, April 24

9:00 am - Morning Session: Critical Approaches to Mormon Studies

Loyd Ericson
"Where is the Mormon in Mormon Studies? Subject, Method, Object"

Cheryl L. Bruno
"Mormon History from the Kitchen Window: White is the Field in Essentialist Feminism"

Blair Van Dyke
"How Wide the Divide? The Absence of Conversation between Mormon Studies and Mormon Mainstream"

Christopher C. Smith
"What Hath Oxford to do with Salt Lake?"

1:00 pm - Afternoon Session: Challenges Facing Mormon Studies

Adam S. Miller
"A Manifesto for Mormon Theology"

Jacob Rennaker
"Through a Glass, Darkly? Biblical Studies, Mormon Studies, Parallels, and Problems"

Greg Kofford
"Publishing Mormon Studies: Inside Looking Out"

4:00 pm - Evening Session: Scholars' Panel

Claudia Bushman, Claremont Graduate University

Brian Birch, Utah Valley University

J. Spencer Fluhman, Brigham Young University

Armand L. Mauss, Claremont Graduate University

6:30 pm - Concluding Remarks

Richard L. Bushman, Claremont Graduate University