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Terryl Givens to discuss Joseph Smith during BYU forum address Nov. 29

“Lightning out of Heaven: Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community”

Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond, will speak Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 11: 05 a.m. in the Marriott Center for a Brigham Young University campus forum.

Live broadcasts are available on KBYU-TV (Channel 11), BYU-Television, KBYU-FM (89.1), BYU-Radio and byubroadcasting.org, as well as on campus in the Joseph Smith Auditorium and the Varsity Theater in the Wilkinson Student Center. Rebroadcast information is available at www.byubroadcasting.org.

The topic of his forum will be “Lightning out of Heaven: Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community.” His address is part of BYU’s ongoing celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Givens is a professor of literature and religion and the James A. Bostwick chair of English at the University of Richmond in Virginia, where he was named “Distinguished Educator of the Year.” Givens’ research focuses on romanticism, literary theory, religion and literature.

He published “Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy” with Oxford University Press in 1997. Five years later, Oxford published “By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion,” which The New York Times called “provocative reading, whether you happen to be a Mormon or not.” He has since written a study of the Latter-day Saint experience in America as well as a cultural history of Mormonism to be released next year.

A native of upstate New York, Givens received his degree in comparative literature from BYU. He did graduate work in intellectual history and in comparative literature at Cornell and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2002, he was named the BYU College of Humanities Honored Alumnus.

Writer: Angela Fischer

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