Patrick Mason

Historian Patrick Mason, LDS scholar and recent recipient of the Leonard J. Arrington Endowed Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, will present a public inaugural lecture at Utah State on Oct. 16.

Utah State’s broader community will get a chance to hear from a new Mormon expert in their midst for the first time Wednesday.

Historian Patrick Mason was named to the Leonard J. Arrington Endowed Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University in December 2018. The chair is housed in the history department’s religious studies program.

The public is invited to Mason’s first public lecture in this role at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall on Utah State’s campus. After the lecture, a reception and book signing will be held the lobby of the same building.

Mason’s speech is called “The Politics of Mormon History” and will examine “the LDS historical approach to nonviolence as well as the intersection of race and religion in the postbellum south,” according to a university press release.

Mason has been the president and a board member of the Mormon History Association (MHA), which Arrington founded in 1965.

“It seems fitting that Patrick will now bring his talents, his vision, and his experience to Utah State University’s Arrington Chair in Mormon History and Culture,” said Barbara Jones Brown, executive director of MHA, in a university press release.

Before coming to Utah State in July, Mason held the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in southern California.

Mason has now held two of the three existing chairs devoted to Mormon studies. The third is the Richard Lyman Bushman Chair of Mormon Studies at the University of Virginia.

Created in 2007, the Arrington Chair at Utah State was first endowed chair in the world devoted to the secular study of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a university press release.

Mason is the second professor to be appointed to the chair.

Philip Barlow held the chair from its creation in 2007 until December 2018. Barlow is now the associate director of the Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University.

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