Mormon studies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Mormon studies is the interdisciplinary academic study of the beliefs, practices, history and culture of those known by the term Mormon and denominations belonging to the Latter Day Saint movement whose members do not generally go by the term "Mormon". The Latter Day Saint movement includes not only The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) but also the Community of Christ (CoC) and other groups, as well as those falling under the umbrella of Fundamentalist Mormonism.

Selected sub-disciplines[edit]

Apologetics and counter-apologetics[edit]

Those scholars whose work more-so typify the field, stand apart from taking positions for or against faith claims. Even if they analyze Latter Day Saint beliefs or theology from a personal standpoint of Mormon-belief, of another religious belief, or of no religious beliefs at all, they couch their views in terms of encouraging cross-faiths and Mormon–"secular" understanding. Nonetheless, some scholars' studies of Mormonism are primarily apologetic, either pro- or counter- LDS faith claims.

Since 2012 the principal academic journal of LDS apologetics has been Interpreter journal; prior to 2012 it had been FARMS Review.[1] Counter - LDS apologetics of a particular faith community are classed with that communities' apologetics; scholarly criticisms of a more secular nature – at least those not veering into anti-Mormonism – nonetheless are often classed as Mormon studies.

International Mormon studies[edit]

Mormon studies is predominantly historical and a branch of American studies—yet, because of growth trends, more than half of the movement's adherents live outside the U.S., making it a subset of Latin American studies, Pacific studies, Canadian studies, and European studies, as well. In addition to general historians, scholars with expertise in such fields as social anthropology and women's studies contribute or concentrate in Mormon studies as well. Mormon studies academics often present their researches not only at standard academic forums but at more broadly popular gatherings—whether devotional, socially activist, or of some other nature. Likewise, some who are not trained academically in history or another social science, conduct and present Mormon-studies research of note.

Also there are 19th-century converts to Mormonism from outside the U.S. who did not emigrate to the gathering place of the Mormon corridor. (A 2010 work, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia, terms this group the Ungathered.)

The primary journals for international Mormon studies are Dialogue journal[2] and, since 2008, the IJMS.


Among prestigious awards in the field are the Leonard J. Arrington Award, presented by the Mormon History Association for "distinguished and meritorious service to Mormon history" and its Woodward Award for outstanding International Mormon history.

Academic programs[edit]


Denominationally affiliated[edit]

Other institutions[edit]

Print resources[edit]

Multi-volume document compilations[edit]

Brief reference works[edit]



Selected list of past scholars[edit]

Individuals from a variety of cultural or philosophical standpoints produced prolific Mormon-themed research, scholarship, or their popularization, in an era now past. Then, beginning in the decade of the 2000s, Mormon studies finally came into its own as an independent field of study when the sub-discipline became featured by then at a few academic institutions in the Western United States.

Some of the individuals with recognized expertise in the field are listed below. In consideration of space, members of Latter Day Saint movement denominations' overall leadership are not included. (Dallin H. Oaks is listed for work he published prior his becoming a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve.)

19th-century compilers of Mormon histories or essays[edit]

Opening "modern," 20th-century field[edit]

Selected list of current scholars[edit]

Of preeminence[edit]

By interdisciplines[edit]

International Mormonism[edit]

English professors, successful local or national authors, journalists[edit]

Trained historians[edit]

Specialists in women's studies[edit]

Other specialists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peterson, Daniel C. (December 14, 2012), "The Role of Apologetics in Mormon Studies",, retrieved 2013-09-04  — Note: this is a reprint of Peterson's August 2012 FAIR speech "Of 'Mormon Studies' and Apologetics".
  2. ^ Mauss, Armand L. (2007), Blasi, Anthony J., ed., "The Emergence of Mormon Studies in the Social Sciences", American Sociology of Religion: Histories (Brill Publishers) 13: 121–150 
  3. ^ Brutsch, Rachel (February 15, 2012), California graduate university takes academic approach to Mormonism, Deseret News 
  4. ^ Peggy Fletcher Stack (October 15, 2012), "U. of Virginia’s Bushman honor gives Mormon studies another boost", The Salt Lake Tribune, Following Faith, retrieved 2013-10-30 
  5. ^ Jensen, Emily W. (October 28, 2009). "Today in the Bloggernacle: a fun, creative Halloween". Mormon Times. 
  6. ^ Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. "Fairleigh Dickinson University Press". Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  7. ^ "Biography". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ Israelsen-Hartley, Sara (December 5, 2009). "BYU professors: Glenn Beck doesn't speak for all Mormons". Deseret News. 
  9. ^ "Biography". Leonard J. Arrington Papers. Utah State University Libraries. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  10. ^ "2002 Lifetime Achievement Award". John Whitmer Historical Association. 2002. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 

Further reading[edit]

News articles
Journal articles
Online journals

External links[edit]

Programs, organizations, and events
On-line resources