LDS Church History

Episode 26: New Directions in Mormon Studies – Patrick Mason

Historian, author, and educator Patrick Mason tells his students that Mormon studies is just a really fun place to play. It gets to the heart of the questions we have in 21st-century society.

By studying Mormonism, we can learn more about the world we live in as it touches on the following:

  • Minority/majority relations;
  • How we can organize a democratic society;
  • The role of religion in the public sphere;
  • Gender issues;
  • Marriage; and
  • Family.

Mormonism, Mormon history, Mormon theology usually have something to say about these foundational issues.

Host Russell Stevenson interviews Patrick about how the way historians do their business has changed over the last 100 years. In the 19th┬ácentury, history┬átended to be bipolar with anti-Mormons on one end and church leaders, members, and historians offering their version from a faith-promoting perspective that acknowledged God’s involvement in affairs.

By the late 20th century, historians began to weigh truth claims in a more dispassionate manner. Their goals were less polemic and more directed toward enhancing understanding–wherever that may lead.

Please join us for this interesting discussion.

Extra Resources:

Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt

Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century

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