In this Dialogue podcast Patrick Mason discusses “Religion, Violence, and Peace: A Latter Day Saint View.” From the Miller Eccles website:
For more than a decade, the bestselling book on Mormonism has been Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. Krakauer suggests that Mormonism offers an excellent case study for telling “a story of violent faith.” It is true that Mormonism — like virtually every other religious tradition — has a history of violence, both perpetrated and received. How do we understand the propensity of religious believers to commit violence, and how do we harness the power of religion in the service of peace and justice? Looking at a number of case studies, but focusing especially on Mormonism, this presentation will consider the complicated relationship of religion, violence, and peace, and offer suggestions as to how Mormonism might trade its violent past for a more peaceful future.
Patrick Mason is Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author or editor of several books, including What Is Mormonism? A Student’s Introduction (Routledge, 2017); Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt (Maxwell Institute/Deseret Book, 2015); and The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford, 2011). He has recently completed a book manuscript entitled The Battles of Zion: Mormonism and Violence, and is in the final stages of another book, co-authored with David Pulsipher, tentatively titled Weapons of Peace: A Mormon Theology of Nonviolence. Mason earned his BA in History at Brigham Young University, and his MA in International Peace Studies and PhD in History from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to joining the faculty at Claremont Graduate University, he taught at the University of Notre Dame and American University in Cairo. He currently serves as president of the Mormon History Association, and is past board chair of the Dialogue Foundation, which publishes Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He has been featured in numerous national media outlets for his expertise on Mormonism. Patrick and his wife Melissa live with their four children in Claremont.