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‘Mormon Families since World War II’ topic of lecture by Jan Shipps March 31 at ISU

Posted March 11, 2010

The Idaho State University Women's Studies Program will present the lecture "Mormon Families Since World War II" by noted Mormon scholar Jan Shipps at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in Goranson Hall in the ISU Fine Arts Building.

Shipps, an award-winning professor emeritus of history and religious studies in the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Liberal Arts, is a popular lecturer as well as seminar leader. Journalists from both the print and electronic media regularly seek out her observations about Mormonism.  

Although she has never been a Mormon, Shipps is a recognized authority on the Latter-day Saints. In addition to a host of articles and reviews for both popular and scholarly periodicals, she is the author of "Mormonism: the Story of a New Religious Tradition" (1985), a work that continues to be used as a text in religious studies and history courses at many colleges and universities.  Her "Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons" published in 2000 is a combination of intellectual autobiography and essays and articles. The Mormon History Association gave "Sojourner" its "Best Book" award for the year it was published. Her latest edited book, "Religion in the Mountain West: Sacred Landscapes in Tension" was published by Alta Mira Press in 2004. 

Shipps is now studying modern Mormonism.  The Mellon Fellowship was awarded to her to allow her to finish the research and to write a book about Mormonism since World War II.  She has spent nearly four months in Utah working in the archives of Utah universities and the Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has been granted access to the leading members of the LDS Church's General Authorities.  At present she is actively writing chapters for her book, which has the tentative title: "Mormonism's Transformation since World War II."

She was a founding co-editor of Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation and for 10 years she served as director of the IUPUI Center for American Studies. 

She has been active in a variety of professional organizations.  In addition to leadership activities in state and regional historical and religious studies organizations, she served as the first non-Mormon president of the Mormon History Association.