(February 29, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary's Attaway Fellow Explores "Mormons in America" April 1-6

SHREVEPORT, La. — Richard Lyman Bushman, Ph.D., accomplished author and one of the nation's foremost scholars in American culture and religious history, will present a series of public talks as Centenary College's Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture, April 1-6.

"Mormons in America" will allow those in attendance the opportunity to examine one of the least understood denominations—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Regarded as one of the leading historian's of Mormonism, Dr. Bushman will discuss the practices and theology of one of the fastest growing major denominations in the United States; a church with nearly 13 million followers worldwide.

According to Rev. Betsy Eaves, Centenary College chaplain, she hopes the six-day event will provide participants a chance to increase their knowledge of the Mormon faith through lectures, workshops and discussions. "Mormonism has come to the forefront of the news in the past couple of months and was a major topic of discussion during Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican nomination," said Rev. Eaves. "It raised a lot of questions, and as a group, I think Mormons are understood and misunderstood in many ways. The Christian Leadership Center is committed to bridge-building conversation in the hope to provide people the opportunity to engage in dialogue and make informed decisions."

Speaking events include:

  • Tuesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Kilpatrick Auditorium
    "Joseph Smith's Theology"
  • Thursday, April 3, 11 a.m., Convocation, Kilpatrick Auditorium
    "What's it like to be a Mormon"
  • Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Kilpatrick Auditorium
    "What Mormons Want"
  • Sunday, April 6, 6 p.m., Fireside Message
    "Joseph's Relationship with God" (Held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 200 Carroll Street, Shreveport, 318.868.3380)

Special seminar:

Saturday, April 5, 9 a.m. — 4 p.m., Hurley School of Music, room 201, Centenary College campus
"Can Mormons Join the Conversation?"(Registration is required. Call 318.869.5156 for more information).

9 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:15 a.m. Session I, "From Debate to Dialogue"
10:45 a.m. Session II, "Talking Frankly About Doubts, Suspicions and Queries"
1:15 P.M. Panel Discussion
3:30 p.m. Wrap-up

Presented by the Centenary College Christian Leadership Center and Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture, all events are free and open to the public. For more Information call 318.869.5156 or visit http://www.centenary.edu/clc.

Funded by and named for Douglas and Marion Attaway, with matching funds from the State of Louisiana, Centenary's Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture are awarded to intellectuals who have made notable contributions to the public discussion of ideas. They present themselves not as academics who occasionally have public roles, but as public thinkers and gifted communicators whose foremost interest is civic culture.

About Richard Lyman Bushman, Ph.D.

Richard Lyman Bushman, currently the Howard W. Hunter visiting Professor of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, Emeritus, at Columbia University, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. He has also taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware. His From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 1690—1765 won the Bancroft Prize in 1967. His other books include Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (1984), winner of the Evans Biography Award; King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (1985); and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992). A practicing Mormon, he lives in New York City with his wife, Claudia.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.