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18th Annual Arrington Lecture Speaker Announced

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012

Terryl Givens, speaker for 18th annual Arrington Lecture

Dr. Terryl Givens has been selected to present the 18th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Logan LDS Tabernacle, 50 N. Main, 7 p.m. The lecture is free.

Terryl Givens, the James A. Bostwick chair of English and professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., has been selected to present the 18th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture.

The Arrington Mormon History Lecture is an annual event hosted by University Libraries and its Special Collections and Archives Division at Utah State University. The lecture is sponsored by University Libraries and the Special Collections and Archives Division, the Leonard J. Arrington Lecture and Archives Foundation, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Utah State University.

The lecture is free and open to the public and includes a writing competition for the region’s university students.

Givens presents “The Prophecy of Enoch as Restoration Blueprint” Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Logan LDS Tabernacle, 50 N. Main. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to all.

“Dr. Givens is a noted commentator on Mormon religion and culture,” said Brad Cole, associate dean for Special Collections and Archives. “We are pleased that he can join us in Logan and his Arrington lecture promises to be stimulating.”

Special Collections and Archives houses the personal and historical collections of the late Leonard J. Arrington, renowned scholar of the American West. As part of that gift to the university, Arrington requested that the historical collection also become the focus for an annual lecture on an aspect of Mormon history. Honoring that request, the Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture series was established in 1995.

Through its evolution, the Arrington lecture has become a popular and successful event.

“The Arrington lecture series has been highly successful over the years,” Cole said. “We’ve attracted top flight scholars from across the country to present the lecture. These individuals have included established names in the field of Mormon studies, plus scholars who are working on ground-breaking research.”

Over the years, the program has grown into an annual community lecture that attracts hundreds, Cole said.

Each year, the nine-member Arrington lecture board meets to select a speaker. This year’s speaker brings an impressive background and credentials to the lecture, Cole said.

Givens, the 2012 speaker, is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he earned his bachelor’s in comparative literature. He went on to graduate study as a Sage Fellow in intellectual history at Cornell University, then earned a master’s in comparative literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He earned his doctorate in comparative literature at UNC Chapel Hill.

In his faculty role at the University of Richmond he teaches courses in 19th century studies and the Bible’s influence on Western literature.

As a commentator on Mormon religion and culture, he has appeared on PBS, NPR and CNN, and his work as an author has been praised by The New York Times as “provocative reading.” His most recent book, with Matthew Grow, is Parley P. Pratt: A Cultural and Intellectual Biography. When Souls had Wings: Pre-Mortal Life in Western Thought was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. The God Who Weeps, with Fiona Givens, will be release in fall 2012. He is now writing a two-volume history of Mormon thought for Oxford University Press.

For information about the Arrington Lecture, contact Special Collections and Archives, (435) 797-2663.

Related links:

USU Special Collections and Archives

USU’s University Libraries

Writer: Patrick Williams, (435) 797-1354,

Contact: Brad Cole (435) 797-8268,

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