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September 16-17, 2016–Morgan Davis

Morgan DavisMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is excited to announce that our September 2016 speaker will be D. Morgan Davis. By virtue of Morgan’s educational background in Arabic and Islamic Studies, and his professional experience as head of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative at the Maxwell Institute, Morgan is singularly qualified to speak on this topic of current political and international interest. You won’t want to miss this timely and informative presentation.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, September 16, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, September 17, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“Religion in the Real World: Mormonism and Islam”

Latter-day Saints in the United States have a lot to think about these days. In Europe and the Middle East there is an ongoing humanitarian and refugee crisis involving millions of people displaced by war who we have been counseled to care for, even as politicians here and abroad raise questions about whether it is safe to give refuge to Muslims when Islamic terrorists are avowedly looking for ways to strike in the West. In addition to these concerns, leaders of the Church warn of growing secularism within the U.S. and teach that religion has been and must continue to be a primary force for good in our society and that religious freedom needs to be carefully defended. They include Islam as one of the religious communities with which we should partner in such efforts. But how are we to understand and implement this counsel? What is the role of faith in a world driven by fear? How can we be both realistic and charitable as we confront these various issues as disciples of Christ?

With training in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Morgan’s research is focused on what scripture is and how it functions within religious communities, particularly those of Mormons and Muslims. For this presentation, he will offer an opportunity learn more about Islam and how Mormons and Muslims can build bridges of understanding while being faithful to our respective traditions.

THE SPEAKER:

Morgan Davis is an Assistant Research Fellow at Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He holds a PhD (2005) in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Utah, an MA in history from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University.

Davis has been affiliated with the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI) since its launch in 1993, supervising the translation, editing, and publication of dual language editions of works from the Classical Islamic world in which Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars all flourished. He has served as the project’s director since 2010. Davis is also an associate editor of the Mormon Studies Review.

His areas of research include Arabic/Islamic philosophy and theology, as well as comparative scripture, with a particular focus on the Qurʾan and it’s interest to the Latter-day Saint tradition. With Andrew C. Skinner and Carl Griffin he coedited and contributed to Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown (Provo: Maxwell Institute, 2011) and has published articles in BYU StudiesThe Religious Educator, and Studies in the Bible and Antiquity. At BYU he has taught classes on the Book of Mormon, Islam, Arabic philosophy, and the history of the Middle East to 1800.

An avid traveler, runner, hiker, and mountain biker, and an occasional tenor soloist, Davis is married to the former Kristina Nelson, and they are the parents of four sons and two daughters.

July 22-23, 2016–Gregory A. Prince

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Gregory A. Prince at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, July 22, 2016, and in Arlington on Saturday, July 23, 2016.  His topic was “Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History”.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, on July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, on July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince visits with a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendee.  July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince visits with a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendee. July 22, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince, July 23, 2016.

Gregory A. Prince, July 23, 2016.

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July 22-23, 2016–Gregory A. Prince

Greg PrinceMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to announce that our July 2016 speaker will be Gregory A. Prince.  Greg will be speaking on his recently released book, Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History, published by the University of Utah Press. A prodigious student of Mormon history, he is also a prolific author of numerous articles and books on Mormon topics. Please join us!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, July 22, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, July 23, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

 THE TOPIC:

“Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History”

Many consider Leonard Arrington to be the foremost twentieth-century historian of Mormonism. But Arrington’s career was not without controversy. A new in-depth look at this respected historian gives readers insight into the workings of the LDS Church in the late twentieth century. In 1972, Arrington was asked to serve as the official church historian, thereby becoming the first—and thus far the only—professional historian to hold that title. While the output of and from that division moved Mormon studies to a new level, the shift of historiography from faith promotion to scholarly research and professional analysis was unacceptable to some powerful senior apostles. In 1980 the History Division was disassembled and moved to Brigham Young University, where Arrington’s broad influence on Mormon history remained strong. This biography is the first to draw upon the remarkable Arrington diaries (over 20,000 pages) and it is supplemented by Prince’s interviews of more than 100 people who knew or worked with Arrington. The book provides background to continuing LDS struggles with member scholars, while illuminating the life of one dedicated historian.

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THE SPEAKER:

Greg Prince was born and raised in Los Angeles. He served a mission to Brazil and then attended UCLA for six years, earning doctorate degrees in dentistry and pathology. He moved to Maryland in 1975 to work at the National Institutes of Health, and over a four-decade career in biomedical research, co-founded a company that pioneered the prevention of RSV pneumonia in high-risk infants. He has published more than 150 scientific papers, and, importantly for us, also published several books on Mormon history, including the remarkable David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, which won the Mormon History Association’s Best Biography award in 2006.

Dr. Prince is currently serving as the Interfaith Liaison in the Washington, DC Stake.  He and his wife, JaLynn Rasmussen Prince, are the parents of three children, the youngest of whom (Madison) is autistic.  JaLynn and Greg now spend their time heading the Madison House Autism Foundation (madisonhouseautism.org), through which they hope to address national issues facing autistic adults and their families.

May 20-21, 2016–Zina and Boyd Petersen

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Zina and Boyd Petersen at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, May 20, 2016, and in Arlington on Saturday, May 21, 2016.  Their topic was was “One Long Shout of Hallelujah: Hugh Nibley and the Vastness of the Gospel“.

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Boyd Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on a May 21, 2016.

 

Zina Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on May 21, 2016.

Zina Petersen speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on May 21, 2016.

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May 20-21, 2016–Zina and Boyd Petersen

BoydandZinaPetersenMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is excited to announce that our May 2016 speakers will be Zina and Boyd Petersen.  Zina and Boyd are uniquely situated to discuss the life and legacy of one of Mormonism’s most gifted and prolific intellectual icons—Hugh Nibley.  Join us as Zina, one of Hugh’s daughters, and Boyd, Hugh’s biographer, tell Hugh’s remarkable story.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, May 20, 7 pm (McKinney)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, May 21, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“One Long Shout of Hallelujah: Hugh Nibley and the Vastness of the Gospel”

Hugh Nibley was arguably the most important Mormon scholar of the second half of the twentieth century. Marshaling a brilliant mind, exceptional linguistic talent, and quick wit, he defended LDS beliefs and scripture and simultaneously offered a sharp critique of Mormon culture. He gave Latter-day Saints reasons to believe, but also an ideal to strive for: the establishment of Zion.  His messages simultaneously comforted those disturbed by reason’s intrusion on faith, and disturbed those grown comfortable in a worldly Babylon.  Zina and Boyd will discuss the life and legacy of Hugh Nibley and examine its relevance for the twenty-first century.

THE SPEAKERS:

Zina Nibley Petersen received her BA from Brigham Young University and MA and PhD from The Catholic University of America. She is associate professor of English at BYU where she teaches British medieval literature, literary history, and English Christian writings.  She is a daughter of Hugh Nibley.

Boyd Jay Petersen is the Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies at Utah Valley University and the editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.  He received his B.A. from Brigham Young University, an M.A. from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Utah.  His biography of Hugh Nibley received the 2003 Best Biography Award from the Mormon History Association. He is currently serving in the Church as a Gospel Doctrine teacher.

February 19-21, 2016 — Paul Reeve

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host W. Paul Reeve at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, February 19, 2016, and in Arlington on Saturday, February 20, 2016, and at a fireside in Arlington on February 21, 2016. The study group topic was: “From Not White Enough, to Too White: Rethinking the Mormon Racial Story”The fireside topic was: “Black, White, and Mormon: Rethinking the Mormon Racial Story”.

Paul Reeve speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington, Texas, on February 20, 2016.

Paul Reeve speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington, Texas, on February 20, 2016.

Paul Reeve speaking at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas meeting on February 20, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.

Paul Reeve speaking at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas meeting on February 20, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.

Adam Miller, Paul Reeve, and Cris Baird.  February 20, 2016.

Adam Miller, Paul Reeve, and Cris Baird. February 20, 2016.

February 19-21, 2016 — Paul Reeve

Paul ReeveMiller Eccles Study Group Texas is excited to announce that our February, 2016, speaker will be Professor W. Paul Reeve.  In addition to teaching a variety of history classes, Paul is Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at the University of Utah.  His most recent book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, has been called “the best book on the contested issue of the Mormon racial restriction’s origins to date.” Paul is an award-winning teacher, and his presentations will shed new light on a controversial topic. Please join us!

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, February 19, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, February 20, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, February 21, 7 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016
Sponsored by the Arlington Texas Stake Genesis Group

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“From Not White Enough, to Too White: Rethinking the Mormon Racial Story”

Drawing upon evidence from his new book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, Paul Reeve suggests that Mormon whiteness in the nineteenth century was a contested variable, not an assumed fact. Situating the Mormon racial story within the broader context of a very fluid and illogical American racial history, Reeve will trace the evolution of Mormon whiteness over time and offer a new lens through which to view the evolving priesthood and temple bans within Mormonism. He argues that one way in which Mormons attempted to secure whiteness for themselves was in distance from their fellow black Mormons.

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THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Black, White, and Mormon: Rethinking the Mormon Racial Story”

In December 2013, an essay entitled “Race and the Priesthood” was posted at LDS.org. Approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the essay “disavowed” previous LDS teachings on race and “condemned” any and all racism. This talk will explore the historical roots of those now “disavowed” teachings and place them in a broader American racial context. While most people are familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ nineteenth-century racial policies, few are equally familiar with the ways in which outsiders conflated Mormons with blacks. Outsiders sometimes racialized Mormons in the nineteenth-century and denigrated them as “white slaves,” and facilitators of racial contamination. In a national racial context that privileged whiteness at every turn, Mormons responded by making efforts to claim whiteness for themselves. This additional context puts the Mormon racial priesthood and temple restrictions in a new light. The talk will end with an exploration of ways to think through this history and what it means to be black, white, and Mormon in the twenty-first century.

THE SPEAKER:

Paul Reeve is the author of Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He also wrote Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, and co-edited with Ardis E. Parshall, Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia. With Michael Van Wagenen he co-edited Between Pulpit and Pew: The Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore. He is the Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at the University of Utah where he teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West. He is the recipient of the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award and of the College of Humanities Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.

November 6-7, 2015 — Kristine Haglund

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Kristine Haglund at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, November 6, 2015, and in Arlington on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The study group presentation topic was: “We’ll Sing or We’ll Shout (or possibly croon, lip-sync, holler, clap, rock, warble, or auto-tune): the Past, Present, and Future of Mormon Hymnody.”

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Kristine Haglund speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on November 6, 2015.

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Kristine Haglund delivers her presentation to attendees of a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas meeting in Arlington, Texas, on November 7, 2015.

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Kristine Haglund leads members of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in singing at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on November 7, 2015.

November 6-7, 2015 — Kristine Haglund

Kristine HaglundWe are pleased to have LDS author and editor of Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, Kristine Haglund, as our November, 2015, speaker.  Kristine has a long-time personal and academic interest in Mormon music and hymnody, and her presentation will be MESG Texas’ first exploration in to the music of Mormondom.  You won’t want to miss what promises to be one of our most entertaining and informative meetings ever.  There’s a good chance you’ll want to sing along!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, November 6, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, November 7, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“We’ll Sing or We’ll Shout (or possibly croon, lip-sync, holler, clap, rock, warble, or auto-tune): the Past, Present, and Future of Mormon Hymnody”

Beneath the tranquil harmonies of Mormon hymn singing, there are decades of quiet controversy that illuminate major tensions in LDS theology and practice. A quick romp through the history of Mormon hymnody, with plenty of singing along the way, will offer a glimpse into these historical thought currents and their possible effects on the future of Mormon music-making.

THE SPEAKER:

Kristine Haglund is editor of Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought. Although her degrees (Harvard, University of Michigan) are in German Studies and German Literature, she usually spent more time in choir rehearsals than in classes. Her first foray into Mormon Studies was a paper on Primary songs as the locus of women’s contribution to the formation of LDS theology. Kristine’s other research interests include Mormon women’s history and religion in social media. Her work has appeared in Slate, Religion & Politics, Patheos, Mormon Studies Review, and on the LDS blogs Times and Seasons and By Common Consent. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Brad Woodworth, and spends most of her days trying to figure out what to feed their five large and extremely hungry teenaged children.

July 24-26, 2015 — Spencer Fluhman

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Spencer Fluhman at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, July 24, 2015, and in Arlington on Saturday, July 25, 2015, and at a fireside in Arlington on July 26, 2015. The study group topic was: “Latter-day Saints and the Problem of American Religious Liberty”.  The fireside topic was: Faith in the Past: LDS Church History in an Information Age”.

Spencer Fluhman speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on July 24, 2015.

Spencer Fluhman speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on July 24, 2015.

Spencer Fluhman speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on July 25, 2015.

Spencer Fluhman speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on July 25, 2015.

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Cris Baird, Spencer Fluhman, Angie Johnson, and Jacqui Morgan after the fireside in Arlington, Texas, on July 26, 2015.

Cris Baird, Spencer Fluhman, Angie Johnson, and Jacqui Morgan after the fireside in Arlington, Texas, on July 26, 2015.