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July 24 – 26, 2015 — Spencer Fluhman

Fluhman, Spencer 30 1111-17 Spencer Fluhman portrait for the History Department. 11/10/11 Photo by Kylea Knecht/BYU © BYU PHOTO 2011 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu  (801)422-7322

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is excited to announce that our July, 2015, speaker will be award-winning author Spencer Fluhman.  Spencer is an associate professor of history and the editor of Mormon Studies Review at Brigham Young University.  His academic research in early anti-Mormonism allows him to bring important and unique insights to interfaith dialogue as well as much needed context to contemporary issues that can be challenging to today’s church members.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, July 24, 7 pm (McKinney)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

Saturday, July 25, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, July 26, 7 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“Latter-day Saints and the Problem of American Religious Liberty.”

Mormonism has polarized Americans since its appearance in 1830. Since it both profoundly reflected and challenged the religious culture from which it sprang, the faith offers an almost unmatched view of the fissures in American thinking about religion and the public sphere. In particular, Mormonism’s unique beliefs pressed on forming notions of “religion” in the new nation, both exposing their Protestant character and forcing their re-imagination as Americans drew back from the radical implications of their church-state experiment. Since the U.S. Constitution protects religion but does not define it, Americans have long debated questions of religious authenticity with an intensity that is often downplayed in accounts of our “religious freedom.”

A Peculiar People_book cover

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Faith in the Past: LDS Church History in an Information Age.”

Church history can be a complex and bewildering topic in an age of instant information, even for professional historians. For non-academic Latter-day Saints, it can be downright distressing. The Restoration’s revelations, though, provide ways to navigate the modern “information jungle” and help us deepen and broaden our faith.

THE SPEAKER:

Spencer Fluhman is associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, where he teaches American religious history and LDS history. He graduated summa cum laude from BYU and received masters and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Journal of Religion and Society, Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies Quarterly, and Mormon Historical Studies. He is currently editor of the Mormon Studies Review, a publication of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. His book, “A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America”, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2012 and won the Mormon History Association’s “Best First Book Award” in 2013. He is currently at work on a biography of Elder James E. Talmage.

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