Dr. Konden Smith (Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Arizona State University) is Lecturer of Religious Studies. He was the Burns Faculty Fellow for 2014-2015. Dr. Smith specializes in American Religious History, with a particular expertise in Mormon Studies. He is the author of Opening the American Frontier: The Co-Evolution of the Mormon and American Kingdoms of God (University of Utah Press, forthcoming) and the co-editor of Reed Smoot: American Politics and American Religion (University of Utah Press, forthcoming). He teaches courses on American and world religions, western mysticism, and religion and popular culture.
19th Century American Millennialism, Mormon Studies, World Religions, and Religion and Theory
This course provides an introduction to the study of Religion and Popular Culture in modern societies. We will study what constitutes "religion" and how definitions of religion change over time. We will examine the ways popular culture becomes "religious" and how religious institutions reflect popular taste and opinion.
This course explores the diversity of religions and religious experiences across the globe. Religions to be examined include, but are not limited to, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as indigenous traditions.
Examines American religious ideas, practices, and forms of community from the colonial period to the present. Themes include the interrelation of religion with politics, immigration, gender, and racial and ethnic diversity in the United States.
This course will study critical theories about the role of religion in acts of terrorism and violence. Through the examination of a range of case studies, this course will explore ways in which religion has been the motivation and justification behind violent conflict, aggression, and persecution.