Each summer for the past sixteen years, lucky groups of graduate students have been assembled to study Mormon history, theology, and culture. The Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture is an intense immersion into Mormon thought, alternately directed by scholars Richard Bushman and Terryl Givens. In past years, seminars have focused on topics like Joseph Smith’s critics, the golden plates, early Mormon theology, and the early Restoration’s cultural context. Students with a variety of academic and personal backgrounds search documents, dig through archives, talk and argue, and write papers on whatever interesting things they discover in the process.
The Maxwell Institute has been the home of the seminar for the past several years. Claudia and Richard Bushman just wrapped up the seventeenth annual summer seminar. Eleven seminar students focused on the theme “THE HISTORY OF THE MORMON FAMILY.” Their working papers were presented at a symposium at Brigham Young University at the end of July. You can read them in unedited form here.
This episode of the Maxwell Institute Podcast introduces you to six of these scholars—women and men who spent the summer investigating aspects of the history of the Mormon family. They are:
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