(September 8, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary's Attaway Fellow Explores Mormonism September 11-14

Terryl Givens, Ph.D.

SHREVEPORT, La. — Terryl Givens, Ph.D., accomplished author and one of the nation’s foremost scholars on literature, culture, and theology within the Mormon tradition will present a series of public talks as Centenary College’s Attaway Fellow in Civic Culture, September 11 though 14.

"The Book of Mormon: How an American Scripture Reinvented Christianity" will allow those in attendance the opportunity to examine one of the least understood denominations—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Regarded as one of the leading experts on Mormon history, culture, and theology, Dr. Givens’ discussions are thought provoking and transcend apologetics to become fascinating dialogues sure to enlighten from multiple perspectives. Givens is currently the James A. Bostwick Chair of English, and professor of English and Religion at the University of Richmond, Va.

Speaking events include:

  • Thursday, September 11, 11 a.m., Convocation Address, Whited Room in Bynum Commons "The Book of Mormon: How American Scripture Reinvented Christianity"
  • Friday, September 12, 7—9 p.m., Robinson Film Center, Evening dinner and Lecture "Mormon Cinema and the Paradoxes of Mormon Culture." The event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. Call 318.525.4761 for reservations
  • Saturday, September 13, All day seminar, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (200 Carroll St, Shreveport, 318.525.4761) 10 a.m. "When Souls Had Wings: Ancient Ideas About Pre-Existence" 1 p.m. "The Pre-Existence from Joseph Smith to Robert Frost" 4 p.m. "The Church in the Wilderness: Lessons from the Apostasy"
  • Sunday, September 14, 6 p.m., Fireside Chat, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (200 Carroll St, Shreveport, 318.525.4761) "The Book of Mormon: Plain and Precious Things"

Presented by Centenary College and the Attaway Fellows in Civic Culture, all events are free and open to the public. Funded by and named for Douglas and Marion Attaway, with matching funds from the State of Louisiana, Centenary's Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture are awarded to intellectuals who have made notable contributions to the public discussion of ideas. They present themselves not as academics who occasionally have public roles, but as public thinkers and gifted communicators whose foremost interest is civic culture.


About Terryl Givens, Ph.D.


Terryl Lynn Givens is professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond where he holds the James A. Bostwick Chair in English. Givens teaches courses in 19th century studies and literary theory, and he focused his early research and publications there, but he is most well known for his books and articles on Mormon history, culture, and theology. His book By the Hand of Mormon was the first critique of the Book of Mormon and its relationship to Mormonism to be published by a major academic press (Oxford University Press). His chief contributions include an understanding of the importance of historical claims of the Book of Mormon and dialogic revelation to Mormon theology.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.

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