Dr. Konden Smith (Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Arizona State University) is Visiting Assistant Professor 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.
Visiting Assistant Professor
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.
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.
Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Requires faculty member approval, preceptor application on file with department.