University of Utah appoints first Mormon Studies professor

Historians in the News
tags: University of Utah, Mormon Studies, W Paul Reeve



University of Utah History Professor W. Paul Reeve has been appointed as the school’s first Mormon Studies professor.

Reeve has taught and written widely on the Utah-based faith, most recently writing “Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness.” The book earned the Mormon History Association’s Best Book Award, as well as the John Whitmer Historical Association’s Smith-Pettit Best Book Award, and the Utah State Historical Society’s Francis Armstrong Madsen Best History Book Award. ...

Specifically, Reeve plans to launch a new digital history project, “A Century of Black Mormons.” That effort will build a database of black converts baptized into the faith between 1830 and 1930.

Until then-LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball’s 1978 revelation lifting a ban on blacks in the all-male Mormon priesthood, the existence of black members was largely unknown, Reeve explains.

His digital history project seeks to “correct that perception and to recover the names and lives of black Mormons who have been erased from collective Mormon memory. Their lives matter and their names deserve to be known,” Reeve says. ...




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