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Contact: Lynn Stewart or Kelsey Johnson, Centenary News Service, 318-841-7265

Religious Studies Series to Focus on Founder of Mormonism


SHREVEPORT, LA—Centenary’s Religious Studies Department will sponsor a film and lecture series Oct. 24-28 about Joseph Smith, the founder of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. The five-day series, “Joseph Smith at 200: The Mormon Prophet’s Contribution to American and Christian History,” will concentrate on the life and teachings of Mormonism’s founder during the bicentennial observation of his birth.

Events will feature film presentations and discussions, lectures by major scholars and opportunities for interfaith dialogue. Speakers in the series include leading scholars in the fields of Mormon studies and interfaith dialogue: Jan Shipps from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; Richard Bushman from Columbia University, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling; Robert Millet from Brigham Young University; and Baptist minister Rev. Greg Johnson of Standing Together Ministries.

Dr. Peter Huff, chair of the Religious Studies Department, calls the series “an extraordinary opportunity to learn about one of the most remarkable—and controversial—figures in American religious history. Believers and skeptics will benefit from this exploration of Smith’s fascinating life and international significance.”

This past summer, Dr. Huff and Dr. Ross Smith, associate professor of music, led a group of Centenary students on a travel module, visiting key sites associated with Joseph Smith’s life and the early Mormon experience. Professors Huff and Smith, along with the students from the Mormon studies module, will host the series' opening event, which will be a screening of the film American Prophet on Monday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium.

The remainder of the series schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
    “How Mormonism is Christian: Locating Mormonism on the Religious Landscape” with Jan Shipps in Kilpatrick Auditorium, Smith Building
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
    “The Lives of Joseph Smith” with Richard Bushman in Kilpatrick Auditorium, Smith Building
  • Thursday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m.
    “The Risks and Rewards of Interfaith Dialogue,” a Centenary Convocation, with Robert Millet in Kilpatrick Auditorium, Smith Building
  • Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
    “An Evangelical and a Latter-day Saint in Dialogue” with Robert Millet and Gregory Johnson in Anderson Auditorium, Hurley School of Music
  • Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.
    Film Screening and Discussion of the movie Legacy at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 200 Carroll Street in Shreveport

All events are free and open to the general public. The series is co-sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Shreveport Louisiana Stake, and Centenary’s Center for Theological Studies.

For more information, contact Dr. Huff at 318-869-5049 or phuff@centenary.edu, or visit http://www.ldstoday.com/home/js-seminar.php.

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