Dialogue Lectures #10 w/ Laurie Maffly-Kipp

Laurie Maffly-Kipp recently co-edited Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier with Reid Neilson, a book of essays dealing with this crucial aspect of Church history. She shares some of her findings with us in the 10th Dialogue podcast taken from a lecture presented to the Miller-Eccles group.

Laurie Maffly-Kipp is newly appointed to the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in St. Louis, Missouri. A brilliant scholar, she has published a number of books and articles relating to several aspects of Mormonism, including the remarkable expansion of our religion to the Pacific islands in the nineteenth century. She r eceived her B.A. from Amherst College in English and Religion (summa cum laude), and completed the PhD in American History at Yale University (1990). She spent twenty-four years at the University of North Carolina as a professor of Religious Studies, and served as department chair for five years.  In 2013 she was appointed as a Distinguished University Professor in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Professor Maffly-Kipp’s research and teaching focuses on African-American religions, religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas, and issues of intercultural contact. In Religion and Society in Frontier California (Yale University Press, 1994) she explored the nature of Protestant spiritual practices in Gold Rush California. In articles on Mormon-Protestant conflicts in the Pacific Islands, African-Americans in Haiti and Africa, and Protestant outreach to Chinese immigrants in California, Professor Maffly-Kipp has analyzed the religious contours of nineteenth-century American life.

Along with Leigh Schmidt and Mark Valeri, she served as co-editor of a recent volume of essays entitled Practicing Protestants: Histories of Christian Life in America, 1630-1965 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).  She also co-edited a collection of essays about Mormonism in the Pacific World, Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier, with Reid Neilson (University of Utah press, 2008), and wrote the introduction for the Penguin Classics edition of the Book of Mormon (2008).  Most recently she authored Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories (Harvard University Press, 2010); American Scriptures, a Penguin Classics anthology of sacred texts (Penguin, 2010); and Women’s Work, an edited collection of writings by African-American women historians co-edited with Kathryn Lofton (Oxford University Press, 2010).  Currently she is working on a survey of Mormonism in American life that will be published by Basic Books.  Maffly-Kipp is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a grant for a collaborative project on the History of Christian Practice from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., fellowships at the National Humanities Center, and an NEH Fellowship for University Professors.

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