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 Frontier Religion: Mormons in America, 1857-1907 (University of Utah Press) 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
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 explores religion and its relationship with visual storytelling culture. We will analyze, explore, and challenge various religious, pop-cultural, ideological, and moral messages as presented in various types of film, from art house cinema to blockbuster movies, and genres ranging from horror to comedy.
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.