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Scholars & Saints: The University of Virginia Mormon Studies Podcast

Education Podcasts

On Scholars & Saints we'll explore some of the most pressing issues and cutting-edge methods in Mormon Studies, and put them in conversation with scholarship from the discipline of Religious Studies. You might be wondering, what is Mormon Studies? Mormon Studies refers to the broad interdisciplinary efforts of scholars both within and outside the Latter Day Saint tradition to understand the religion founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. Mormonism includes well known branches like the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as hundreds more.

On Scholars & Saints we'll explore some of the most pressing issues and cutting-edge methods in Mormon Studies, and put them in conversation with scholarship from the discipline of Religious Studies. You might be wondering, what is Mormon Studies? Mormon Studies refers to the broad interdisciplinary efforts of scholars both within and outside the Latter Day Saint tradition to understand the religion founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. Mormonism includes well known branches like the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as hundreds more.

Location:

United States

Description:

On Scholars & Saints we'll explore some of the most pressing issues and cutting-edge methods in Mormon Studies, and put them in conversation with scholarship from the discipline of Religious Studies. You might be wondering, what is Mormon Studies? Mormon Studies refers to the broad interdisciplinary efforts of scholars both within and outside the Latter Day Saint tradition to understand the religion founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. Mormonism includes well known branches like the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as hundreds more.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Three Nephites, Comparative Theology, and Human Messianicity w/ Joseph Spencer

3/9/2021
On this episode of Scholars & Saints I’m chatting with Latter-day Saint philosopher Dr. Joseph Spencer about a book by Lebanese philosopher and poet Jad Hatem called Postponing Heaven: The Three Nephites, the Bodhisattva, and the Mahdi. Postponing is a comparative theological work drawing on the continental philosophical tradition that considers the concept of “human messianicity” and especially its implications for time and what it means to be a human being. A note for listeners: we had...

Duration:00:56:46

The Most American Religion w/ McKay Coppins & Kathleen Flake

2/6/2021
Today on Scholars & Saints, we’re chatting with McKay Coppins, a Latter-day Saint journalist who has covered American politics for Newsweek, Buzzfeed, and The Atlantic for the past decade. In December 2020, Coppins wrote a long-form essay for The Atlantic called “The Most American Religion,” in which he probes questions about Mormonism’s relationship with American culture and “what Mormonism might look like in its 3rd century”

Duration:00:39:30

The Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto pt.1 (etic approach) w/ Cristina Rosetti

1/26/2021
Today on Scholars & Saints I’m chatting with Dr. Cristina Rosetti about a controversial new document making the rounds on Latter-day Saint social media called the Latter-day Saint Radical Orthodoxy manifesto. Today we’ll situate the manifesto within its broad historical context and compare it with similar groups among other Christian denominations. This is part 1 of a 2-part special episode.

Duration:00:45:22

The Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto pt.2 (emic approach) w/ Dan Ellsworth

1/26/2021
In the second part of our special episode on the Latter-day Saint Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto, I'm chatting with Dan Ellsworth, a signatory to the manifesto and a prominent writer and advocate within the Radical Orthodoxy community. This is part 2 of a 2-part special episode.

Duration:00:50:53

Mormons, Secularism, & Biopolitics w/ Peter Coviello & Kathleen Flake

1/4/2021
On this episode of Scholars & Saints, we're chatting about Mormons and secularism. In his recent book Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism, Peter Coviello argues that early Mormonism resisted the biopolitical disciplines of the secular nation-state, largely because of Joseph Smith's doctrine of human divinization, or what Coviello calls "the radiant body."

Duration:00:54:04

Frontier Religion w/ Konden Smith Hansen

1/1/2021
Today on Scholars and Saints we’re talking about the ways in which the American Frontier acted as a kind of religion of “Americanness” in 19th century America. We’ll talk about how Latter-day Saints fit into that American Frontier religion, and how they negotiated and contested the boundaries of Americanness and good religion in their encounters with Protestants. Ultimately, this is a story about secularization, in which we learn that for Mormons, “becoming secular” didn’t mean becoming...

Duration:01:22:34

Producing Ancient Scripture w/ Michael Hubbard MacKay and Mark Ashurst McGee

12/31/2020
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Michael MacKay of Brigham Young University and Dr. Mark Ashurst-McGee of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Joseph Smith Papers Project about Joseph Smith and what he termed “translations” of ancient documents. In this episode we review essays by Ann Taves, Michael MacKay, Jared Hickman, Samuel Morris Brown, Mark Ashurst-McGee and others, which bring new methods, including the methods of religious studies to bear on the...

Duration:01:09:02

Like A Fiery Meteor: The Life of Joseph F. Smith w/ Stephen Taysom

12/31/2020
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Stephen Taysom about former Latter-day Saint president Joseph F. Smith. The nephew of church founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., Joseph F. Smith witnessed many of the most striking events of early Mormonism from his childhood in Nauvoo, to his adolescence on the Midwestern plains, to the settlement of the Great Basin in Utah, and more. A complex figure, Smith was known as much for his courage as for his temper. He was supremely confident and...

Duration:00:54:44

Enlisting Faith: Religion & Military Chaplaincy w/ Ronit Stahl

12/31/2020
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Ronit Stahl about the US military chaplaincy. During World War I, the unprecedented size of the US military, along with a mandatory draft meant that the military had to contend for the first time with large scale religious pluralism. Over the course of the twentieth century, the military chaplaincy changed both the military and religion. Along with other minority faiths, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posed unique...

Duration:00:55:15

Place & Memory Along the Mormon Trail w/ Sara Patterson

11/4/2020
The body has always played a central role in Latter-day Saint religious experience: touching, seeing, building, walking, sweating, and even bleeding sculpt the ways Latter-day Saints think about God, the world, and themselves. From the Gold Plates, to the Mormon Trail, to the Salt Lake Temple, Latter-day Saints mark and interpret space in ways that have profound implications for history and memory. Today I speak with Professor Sara Patterson about her recent book, Pioneers in the Attic:...

Duration:00:41:41

Mormons & American Politics w/ David Campbell & Kathleen Flake

10/12/2020
From the early days of Joseph Smith’s religious movement, Mormons have creatively navigated tensions with American culture and government through political activity. In 1844, Joseph Smith ran for president and even sent out missionaries to campaign for him. In the early 20th century, Apostle Reed Smoot served in the US Senate for many years. Decades later, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson would serve as US Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower. In recent years Harry Reid, a Democrat,...

Duration:00:58:40

Jane Manning James: Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon w/ Quincy Newell

9/19/2020
In this episode, Quincy Newell joins me to talk about her book Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon. We explore how Jane James's experiences shed light on race, gender, and religion in the American West of the 19th century.

Duration:01:00:49

Terrible Revolution: Mormon Apocalypticism w/ Christopher James Blythe

8/21/2020
We explore Mormon ideas about the end of the world. In his recent book, Terrible Revolution: Latter-day Saints and the American Apocalypse, Christopher James Blythe argues that Latter-day Saint apocalyptic prophecy has changed over time. What began as the expectation of an imminent apocalypse in early Mormonism changed in the early 20th century as Latter-day Saints in the United States returned from isolation in the Rocky Mountains to become culturally American again. Dr. Blythe reveals how...

Duration:01:04:36