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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.

 

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.

April 24 – 25, 2015 — Julie Smith

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Julie M. Smith at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, April 24, 2015, and in Arlington on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The study group topic was: ““Written, That Ye Might Believe”: Reading the New Testament Anew”.

Adam Miller introduces Julie Smith to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 25, 2015.

Adam Miller introduces Julie Smith to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 25, 2015.

 

Julie Smith speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 25, 2015.

Julie Smith speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 25, 2015.

Julie Smith speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 24, 2015.

Julie Smith speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 24, 2015.

April 24-25, 2015 — Julie Smith

Julie SmithWe are pleased to have Julie M. Smith, New Testament scholar and author, as our April, 2015, speaker.  Julie’s book Search, Ponder, and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels, has been praised as a “substantial contribution, not simply to the growing field of serious Mormon scholarship on the Bible, but to the LDS community as a whole.”  With the New Testament as the focus of our Sunday curriculum this year, and with Easter fresh on our minds, we hope you’ll join us as we look for ways to enhance our understanding of the New Testament.

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, April 24, 7 pm (McKinney)
(at the office of Dale Drake)
110 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75070

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

THE TOPIC:

“Written, That Ye Might Believe”: Reading the New Testament Anew

In this powerful, thought provoking, and timely presentation, Julie M. Smith, author of Search, Ponder, and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels, the second edition of which was recently released, will discuss questions such as: How can Latter-day Saints enrich their study of the New Testament? Can modern biblical scholarship be of any use to them, or should it be avoided as suspect? What are some best practices for reading the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry?  With Easter having occurred just a few weeks prior to her presentation, Julie will explore the benefits and limits of the academic study of the New Testament, along with ways in which it might be used in personal study, while focusing on the stories of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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THE SPEAKER:

Julie M. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in English and from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, with an MA in Biblical Studies. She is on the executive board of the Mormon Theology Seminar and the steering committee for the BYU New Testament Commentary, for which she is writing the volume on the Gospel of Mark. Julie is married to Derrick Smith; they live near Austin, Texas, where she homeschools their three children. She also blogs for Times & Seasons, where she is the book review editor. She is the author of Search, Ponder, and Pray: A Guide to the Gospels and numerous essays on a variety of Mormon studies and biblical studies topics.

January 23-24, 2015 — Craig Harline

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Craig Harline at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, January 23, 2015, and in Arlington on Saturday, January 24, 2015. The study group topic was: “Way Below the Angels: the pretty clearly troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real live Mormon missionary”.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on January 23, 2015.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on January 23, 2015.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on January 24, 2015.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on January 24, 2015.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study group in Arlington, Texas.

Craig Harline speaks to Miller Eccles Study group in Arlington, Texas.

Craig Harline visits with Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees after his presentation in Arlington, Texas.

Craig Harline visits with Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees after his presentation in Arlington, Texas.