Past Speakers (Page 2)

 Posted by at 10:32 am

This is page 2 of the list of our past speakers and it is still under construction. To return to page 1, click on THIS LINK.

Jana Riess: Holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Columbia University. Acquisitions editor for Westminster John Knox Press and a freelance writer and editor. Author of a number of books, including Mormonism for Dummies, American Pilgrimage, The Spiritual Traveler: Boston and New England; The Book of Mormon: Selections Annotated and Explained; and What Would Buffy Do? Currently working on a book to be titled Flunking Sainthood. Spoke to Miller Eccles on “Twible: Tweeting the Bible.”

Mark Staker: Senior Researcher in the Historic Sites Division of the Church History Department, played a key role in the development of the Kirtland and Palmyra historic sites, currently working on the Harmony historic site. Author of Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Spoke to Miller Eccles on the historical setting of the Ohio revelations.

John Hamer: President of John Whitmer Historical Association and editor of John Whitmer Books. Mapmaker extraordinaire, has prepared maps for the Joseph Smith Papers and many other publications. Author of The Community of Christ: An Illustrated History and co-editor of Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism. Working on a new book to be called Strangites: The Great Lakes Mormon Experience. Spoke to Miller Eccles on the history of the Community of Christ and other early schismatic groups.

Nathan B. Oman: Assistant professor at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at The College of William & Mary. A well-known blogger and a regular contributor to the Times & Seasons and Concurring Opinions blogs. Participated on a Miller Eccles panel discussing the Bloggernacle. Has published several articles of interest to Mormons, including “Preaching to the Court House and Judging in the Temple” in BYU Studies, and “‘The Living Oracles’: Legal Interpretation and Mormon Thought” in Dialogue.

Kaimipono D. Wenger: Law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, his research interests include civil rights and critical race theory. A regular blogger at Times & Seasons and Concurring Opinions, he participated on a Miller Eccles panel discussing the Bloggernacle. Author of Dialogue article titled “The Church’s Use of Secular Arguments.”

Caroline Kline: Co-founder of, and a regular contributor to, Exponent II Blog. PhD student in women’s studies in religion at Claremont Graduate University. Participated on a Miller Eccles panel discussing the Bloggernacle.

Mark Paredes: Former Executive Director of the Western Region of the Zionist Organization of America and National Director of Hispanic Outreach for the American Jewish Congress. A Jewish convert to the LDS Church who speaks seven languages fluently and has served in diplomatic roles in several foreign countries. Travels the world speaking on LDS-Jewish relations.

Richard L. Jensen: Historian specializing in nineteenth century LDS European history and European immigrants to the United States. Co-editor of volume one of the journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers. Author of Mormons in Early Victorian Britain and an essay and catalog of works by the LDS Danish artist C.C.A. Christensen. Has served as book review editor for the Journal of Mormon History, member of the board of the John Whitmer Historical Association, and member of the council of the Mormon History Association.

Gary James Bergera: Former Managing Director of Signature Books and of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Co-author of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith, editor or co-editor of Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine; The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts; Statements of the LDS First Presidency; Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845; and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846. Recipient of a Best Article Award from the Mormon History Association.

John Sillitoe: Archivist, Curator of Special Collections, Professor of Libraries at Weber State University. Editor of The Wilderness of Faith: Essays on Contemporary Mormon Thought and co-editor of Letters from Exile: The Correspondence of Angus M. and Martha Hughes Cannon and of A World We Thought We Knew: Readings in Utah History.

William Russell: Professor and chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa. Former president of the Mormon History Association and the John Whitmer Association. Published many articles related to Mormon and Community of Christ issues; author of Homosexual Saints: The Community of Christ Experience.

Lester E. Bush, Jr.: MD from the University of Virginia; served six years as an associate editor of Dialogue. Wrote “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview” a key article published in Dialogue in 1973, before President Kimball’s revelation on the priesthood, providing evidence that the denial of the priesthood to blacks was a policy, not a doctrine of the Church. Co-editor of Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church.

Curt Bench: Founder of Benchmark Books in Salt Lake City, probably the most complete Mormon bookstore anywhere. Deals in new, used and rare Mormon books. Knew the infamous Mormon forger, Mark Hoffman, and like the Church and others, was swindled by Hoffman before the truth came murderously to light.

Brian Birch: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Utah Valley University, and director of UVU’s Religious Studies Program. Author of the book Mormonism and Christian Thought, the subject on which he spoke to Miller Eccles.

Lee Roderick: LDS newsman in Washington, D.C. area, chairman of the board of the National Press Club, press agent for the Church in D.C., author of Leading the Charge: Orrin Hatch and 20 Years of America.

Michael W. Homer: Lawyer, historian and author. Author of “Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry: The Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism” in Dialogue; editor of On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930,” published as part of the Kingdom of the West series; expert on Arthur Conan Doyle and his views on Mormonism.

Robert Kirby: Humor columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune, always a popular speaker, his column has won several regional awards. An active Mormon who refers to himself as an “OxyMormon,” he infuriates some and endears himself to others. Has published a number of books including Wake Me for the Resurrection; Sunday of the Living Dead; Sunday Soup for the Soul and Pat & Kirby Go to Heck.

Kevin Christensen: Freelance technical writer, publisher of a number of essays and articles through FARMS. Discussed the work of the English theologian, Margaret Barker, as it relates to principles of Mormonism.

Norma Baldwin Ricketts: Retired journalist, Sacramento drama and art critic, a Mormon Battalion scholar and author of one of the definitive works on that group titled The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-48.

George D. Smith: A prominent California businessman, one of the founders of Signature Books, a leading press for independent Mormon scholars. Author of Nauvoo Polygamy: “… but we called it celestial marriage.” Edited and published An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton.

Trent D. Stephens: Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at Idaho State University and Clinical Professor in the Department of Oral Biology at Creighton University School of Dentistry. Author of the textbook Atlas of Human Embryology and co-author of two books of interest to LDS readers, Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding and Who are the Children of Lehi?

Matthew J. Grow: Assistant Professor of History, University of Southern Indiana. Author of the award-winning Liberty to the Downtrodden, Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer, published by Yale University Press.

F. Ross Peterson: Professor of History at Utah State University, former editor (with his wife, Kay) of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Author of a number of books on Utah and Idaho history, including A History of Cache County. Former director of the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies.

William G. Hartley: Associate Professor of History at BYU, president of the Mormon History Association (2000-01), contributor to the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Author of biographies of several lesser-known Latter-day Saints, such as the prizewinning My Best For the Kingdom: John Lowe Butler, Mormon Frontiersman and Anson Bowen Call: Bishop of Colonia Dublan.

John E. Clark: Archaeologist and academic researcher of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, professor of anthropology at Brigham Young University, director of the New World Archaeology Foundation. He has written and lectured extensively on the Book of Mormon and archeology. Author of Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica.

Kristine Haglund: An accomplished violinist and choral director, Kristine is the current editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. She spoke to Miller Eccles on the prospects for published Mormon journals in the age of blogging.

Eloise Bell: Syndicated columnist, professor emeritus of English at Brigham Young University, prolific essayist and observer of Mormon culture.

Roger D. Launius: Chief historian for NASA and curator of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, also a noted historian of the Community of Christ. His Mormon-themed biographies include Joseph Smith III: Pragmatic Prophet and Alexander William Doniphan: Portrait of a Missouri Moderate. He has also edited several important collections: Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History; Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois; and Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited: Nauvoo in Mormon History.

Edwin B. Firmage: University of Utah Professor, edited the memoirs of his grandfather, Hugh B. Brown, and published them under the title An Abundant Life. Co-author of Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900.

Harvard S. Heath: Curator of the Utah and American West Archives of the BYU library. Editor of In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot and numerous articles on LDS history. Served on the board of editors of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

Tim B. Heaton: Professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, author of many articles on marriage (particularly interracial marriages) and family, co-editor of Utah in Demographic Perspective and of Situating O’Dea Among the Mormons: Revisiting Thomas F. O’Dea.

D. Gene Pace: Author of the article “Changing Patterns of Mormon Financial Administration: Traveling Bishops, Regional Bishops and Bishop’s Agents, 1851–88,” published in BYU Studies; doctoral dissertation at Ohio State titled “Community Leadership on the Mormon Frontier: Mormon Bishops and the Political, Economic and Social Development of Utah before Statehood.”

Michael R. Hicks: Well-known Mormon singer, pianist and composer, seminary teacher and EFY counselor. Perhaps his best-known work is the EFY Medley: As Sisters In Zion & We’ll Bring the World His Truth, sung by hundreds of thousands of LDS youth at EFY programs.

Glen M. Leonard: Has been a professor at both BYU and Utah State University, director of the Museum of Church History and Art, co-author of several books on LDS history, including The Story of the Latter-day Saints; Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise; and Massacre at Mountain Meadows.

John Tarjan: Business marketing professor at Cal State Bakersfield; author of several journal articles om Mormon subjects, including “Heavenly Father or Chairman of the Board?: How Organizational Metaphors Can Define and Confine Religious Experience” and co-author (with Armand Mauss and Martha Esplin) of The Unfettered Faithful: An Analysis of the Dialogue Subscribers Survey” both in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Former member of the Sunstone Foundation National Advisory Board.

Cecil (“Chip”) Murray: Religious leader, retired head of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, tireless campaigner for aid to less fortunate citizens. Close cooperation between Reverend Murray’s congregations and the LDS Church during the Watts riots was a notable example of early ecumenical success.

Edward Ashment, Studied at the University of Chicago as a PhD candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, majoring in Egyptian philology. Long-time student of the Book of Abraham and author of numerous articles concerning it, including “The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham: A Reappraisal” and “Joseph Smith’s Identification of ‘Abraham’ in Papyrus JS1…” Skeptic of historicity claims regarding the Book of Abraham.

Ken Verdoia: Public television documentary producer; among his productions are Utah: The Struggle for Statehood; Brigham Young; and A Matter of Principle: Polygamy in the Mountain West. Though not a Mormon himself, he was one of the principal interviewees shown on the PBS documentary The Mormons.

Douglas D Alder: President of Dixie College, professor of history at Utah State University and Dixie College. Author of the book Sons of Bear Lake, as well as several published articles on Mormon topics, including “The Mormon Masses,” “Excommunication: Fear and Forgiveness;” and “Encounter.”

Lynn Matthews Anderson: Mother and Mormon feminist, author of several articles and book reviews in Mormon journals, including “Toward a Feminist Interpretation of Latter-Day Scripture” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; author of Easy-to-Read Book of Mormon, intended for children and young adults.

Sheldon Greaves: Received his Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley; currently Chief Academic Officer at Henley-Putnam University, where he teaches classes in Religious Extremism. Author of numerous articles on Mormonism, including his recent personal essay in Dialogue, “The Education of a Bible Scholar.”

L. Jackson Newell: Professor Emeritus, University of Utah and Deep Springs College in California. Served as dean and principal architect of the unusual university-wide liberal arts and sciences program at the University of Utah (1974-90). Published over 125 articles and nine books. Husband of Linda King Newell and co-editor with her of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (1982-87).

Dan Erickson: Author of book titled As a Thief in the Night: The Mormon Quest for Millennial Deliverance. Co-author of article titled “‘Regeneration–Now and Evermore!’: Mormon Polygamy and the Physical Rehabilitation of Humankind,” in the Journal of the History of Sexuality.

David J. Whittaker: Historian and bibliographer, curator of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library of the BYU Lee Library. Authored several books related to Mormon History, including Studies in Mormon History, a bibliography of Mormon history that is regarded as the premier collection in this field. Co-author (with James B. Allen and Ronald Esplin) of Men with a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles. President of the Mormon History Association (1995-96). Co-editor of Volume 1 of the History Series of The Joseph Smith Papers.

Andrew F. Smith: Free-lance writer, consultant and lecturer, celebrated food historian, expert on the history of the tomato. Although not LDS, wrote the definitive biography of John C. Bennett, titled The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett.

M. Gerald Bradford: Brigham Young University professor and Executive Director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, co-editor of “Uncovering the Original Text of the Book of Mormon: History and Findings of the Critical Text Project.”

Robert S. Clark: A Salt Lake City lawyer, member of the board of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, co-author of two books: Journal of the Trail and Fathers and Sons in the Book of Mormon.

William W. Slaughter: A photo-archivist in the Church Historical Department, co-editor of a number of beautifully-produced LDS photo books, including Trail of Hope: The Story of the Mormon Trail; Joseph Smith’s America: A Celebration of His Life and Times; Life in Zion: An Intimate Look At the Latter-day Saints; and Norman the Nephite’s Church History Time Line.

Elizabeth Sewell: Law professor at BYU’s J. Reuben Law School and Associate Director of its International Center for Law and Religion Studies. She has published numerous articles and chapters on church-state and religious freedom issues; co-editor of three books, including Facilitating Freedom of Religion and Belief and Law and Religion in Post-Communist Europe.

James D’Arc: Former actor, currently curator of Brigham Young University’s Motion Picture Archive and Film Music Archive, acknowledged expert on motion picture history. Author of the book When Hollywood Came to Town: A History of Moviemaking in Utah. Author of several articles of interest to Mormons including “The Saints on Celluloid: The Making of the Movie ‘Brigham Young’ and “‘In the Beginning Was the Word:’ But That was Just the Beginning.”

Margaret Merrill Toscano: Mormon feminist, founder of the Mormon Women’s Forum, one of principal interview subjects in the PBS documentary “The Mormons.” Co-author (with her husband, Paul) of Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology. Teaches classics at the University of Utah.

Paul Toscano: Salt Lake City attorney, co-author (with his wife, Margaret) of Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology, author of The Sanctity of Dissent and The Sacrament of Doubt, co-founder of The Mormon Alliance to counter spiritual and ecclesiastical abuse.

David H. Bailey: Chief Technologist of the Computational Research Department at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California. In addition to his prolific professional publications, he has written a number of articles pertaining to the intersection between science and religion; operates a website of containing resources on that subject called “Science Meets Religion.”

R. John Williams: Assistant professor of English, Yale University. Expert on Hollywood cinema, spoke to Miller Eccles about Mormon connections and references in Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

Kathryn M. Daines: Associate Professor of History at Brigham Young University, a contributor to Nauvoo in Mormon History. Author of More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910, winner of best book awards from the Mormon History Association and the Utah State Historical Society.

Paul M. Edwards: Community of Christ, past president of the John Whitmer Historical Association and the Mormon History Association, co-author of numerous books, past director of the RLDS Temple School in Independence, Missouri. Wrote chapter about Joseph Smith’s brother titled “William B. Smith: ‘A Wart on the Ecclesiastical Tree’,” in Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History.

Stan Larson: Curator for the Utah History, Philosophy, and Religion Archives at the Marriott Library, University of Utah. Author of Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson’s Archaeological Search for The Book of Mormon; co-author of Unitarianism in Utah: A Gentile Religion in Salt Lake City, 1891-1991; and editor of A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, 1884-87.

Courtney S. Campbell: Professor at Oregon State University with focus on religion and culture. Has written and lectured on Mormon issues, including “Good Samaritans and Moral Dilemmas” and “The Wisdom of Death.”

Larry B. Stammer: Religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times; many articles of interest to an LDS audience including “Mormons May Disavow Old View on Blacks and the Priesthood” (1998), “Mormon Scientist, Church Clash Over DNA Test; Anthropologist May be Ousted for Questioning Teachings about Native American Ancestry” (2002), and “Debating Faith and Sexuality: Religions, Guided by their Particular Views of Scripture, are Grappling with Whether Gays and Lesbians should be Accepted, Condemned, or Something in Between.” Author of an upcoming book titled “Sustaining the American Dream.”

Craig L. Blomberg: Distinguished Professor of the New Testament at Denver Seminary in Colorado. Conservative evangelist who nonetheless fostered a dialogue with BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson which resulted in the book How Wide the Divide? An Evangelical and a Mormon in Conversation.

R. Lanier Britsch: History professor at Brigham Young University, specializes in the history of LDS missionary work, particularly in the Pacific Islands and Asia. Has written or edited several books of interest to Mormons, including Nothing More Heroic: The Compelling Story of the First Latter-day Saint Missionaries in India; From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996; and Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai’i and Unto the Islands of the Sea: A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Pacific.

Carlfred Broderick: Noted psychologist and family therapist, scholar of marriage and family relations at the University of Southern California. Appeared several times on the Johnny Carson show. Authored many books and articles, including One Flesh, One Heart: Putting Celestial Love into Your Temple Marriage; Marriage and the Family and The Uses of Adversity. Passed away in 1999. Spoke to Miller Eccles as part of a panel on homosexuality in the Church.

Bradley Walker: LDS physician, author of the article “Spreading Zion Southward: Improving Efficiency and Equity in the Allocation of Church Welfare Resources and Sharing Our Loaves and Fishes,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; activist for economic and educational aid to impoverished South American LDS families.