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The European Mormon Studies Association (EMSA) is an independent scholarly organisation that supports the academic study of Mormonism in Europe. If you would like to receive occasional updates or have announcements you would like to share, you can join EMSA by clicking here. For other enquiries, please send us an email or Tweet. You can also find us on Facebook. EMSA sponsors an annual academic conference and the International Journal of Mormon Studies.

EMSA Conference 2013


2013 EMSA Conference (with Brigham Young University London Centre):

“Great Men and Mormonism”

Thomas Carlyle wrote that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Papers are invited to explore Mormonism’s intersection with history’s “great men,” Mormonism’s own great men, and Mormon Studies’ interest in great men (as opposed to common men — is Mormon Studies biased this way?). We mean, of course, to include “great women” in this discussion. Therein lies, perhaps, another bias to explore.

Friday, 13th December 2013 (7.30-9.30): Wilfried Decoo — “European Great Men and Mormonism: A Positive Dissection . . . With a Twist”

Loyola Hall

Heythrop College

Kensington Square

London W8 5HN


Saturday, 14th December 2013 (9.30-5)

Hyde Park LDS Chapel

64-68 Princes Gate

Exhibition Road

South Kensington

London SW7 2PA


Ryan Tobler (Chicago): “Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Brigham Young.”

Brittany Chapman (LDS Church): “Great Mormon Women Remembered: Pinning Down the Rhetoric”

Luke Perry (Utica): “Comparing Two Great Mormon Senators: Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid.”

Wouter van Beek (Tilburg): “Big Fish in a Small Pond: Dynamics of Polder Greatness.”

Janiece Johnson (Leicester): “Journal versus Proceedings:Contrasting Accounts of the 1905 Dedication of the Joseph Smith Monument.”

Carl Youngblood (MTA): “Demythologizing Mormonism.”


Carter Charles (Bordeaux): “Reed Smoot, the Apostle/St Paul of Mormonism.”

Ben Park (Cambridge): “Greatness” of (Wo)Men: Edward Tullidge, Hannah Tapfield King, and the Gendered Tasks of Biography.”

David Richards (Exeter): “The Book of Mormon and the ‘Great Man Theory’ of History.”

Jessica Finnigan (Cambridge): “The Heroic Struggle: A Process of Creating Great Leaders.”

Quint Randle (Provo): “Themes of Mormon Doctrine in the Lyrics of Brandon Flowers.”

Sherry Baker (Provo): “Great Men and Common Women in Mormon Studies: An Agenda-Setting Analysis.”



Delegates will need to organise their own accommodation, etc. Both venues are in the Kensington area of the city, near Hyde Park. £10 fee. Register on the day.


EMSA Constitution


Constitution of the European Mormon Studies Association

Article 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be the European Mormon Studies Association (hereafter ‘EMSA’, or ‘the Association’).

Article 2: Purpose

EMSA is a scholarly organisation that supports the academic study of the Mormon experience in Europe and Mormonism in general by Europeans.

Article 3: Executive Board

A. The Executive Board (hereafter ‘Board’) consists of three members, currently consisting of David Morris, Ingrid Sherlock-Taselaar, and Aaron Reeves. 

B. Elections for members of the Board shall be held whenever a vacancy occurs. Members shall be elected by a plurality of ballots from the existing Board.

C. Nominations shall be solicited prior to and at the conference.

D. At least two members of the Board must reside in Europe.

E. Final authority for the direction of the Association’s activities resides in the Executive Board.

F. The Executive Board each shall meet as often as necessary to conduct their business. Business called to a vote must carry a majority of Board members in order to be enacted.

Article 4: Meetings

The Association shall meet in Europe at a time and place to be selected by the Executive Board. Along with papers presented and any other activities, there shall be a business session involving any interested parties and led by the Board.

Article 5: Journal

The Association sponsors a Journal, The International Journal of Mormon Studies (IJMS). The publisher shall be David Morris.

Article 6: Funds

Association Funds shall be kept in a UK bank account and shall be subject to oversight from the Board.

International Mormonism Bibliography


A fantastic resource has been compiled by Kent Larsen in which he lists all of the works on international Mormonism published in 2011. Have a look!

No EMSA conference 2012


There will be no EMSA conference in 2012. We will be announcing the 2013 conference shortly.

We recommend EMSA members consider the following conference:



You can register for the conference by sending an email to with your name and affiliation (if any).

Preliminary Programme


We are pleased to announce the preliminary program for the EMSA conference to be held at Durham University, England, on 4-5 August 2011. Click here for information on travel, accommodation, and the papers to be given.

Please register by leaving your name and affiliation (if any) in the comments box below or send an email to

Thursday, 4 August

10:00 – 11:00 Invited Session

Prof. Robert Hayward, Durham University, England
The Name “Israel” and the Prayer of Joseph

11:15 – 12:15 LDS History in Durham

Ronald E. Bartholomew, Brigham Young University, USA
Fred E. Woods, Brigham Young University, USA
Origins and Development of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in County Durham,

12:15 – 14:00 Lunch (included in meal package)

14:00 – 16:00 Historical Viewpoints

Steve Carter, Henderson State University, USA
Practicing an American Religion in the Third Reich: The Case of the Mormon Church

Michael W. Homer, Utah State Historical Society, USA
The LDS Thesis Concerning the Relationship between Mormon and Masonic Rituals

Dan Belnap, Brigham Young University, USA
“And Those Who Receive You Not”: Ritual (Dis)continuity in the Rite of the Dusting of Feet

Amanda Hendrix-Komoto, University of Michigan, USA
Strange Spiritual Operations and the Contest over Ritual in Early Mormonism

16:15 – 17:15 Keynote Session

Prof. Walter E.A. van Beek, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Awkward Symbols: Mormonism and its Rituals

Evening program Conference dinner (included in meal package)

Friday, 5 August

10:00 – 12:00 Doctrinal Viewpoints

Christian Euvrard, LDS Church Educational System, France
The Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead According to 1 Corinthians 15:29 and 1 Peter 3:18-22 and 1
Peter 4:6 in Contrast with the Interpretation of Mainstream Christian Theology

Adam Powell, Durham University, England
The Species Debate: God and Humanity in Irenaeus and the Latter-day Saints

Aaron Reeves, University of Essex, England
Embodied Authority: Priesthood Ordination and the Laws of the Mortal Body

James D. Holt, University of Chester, England
The Holy Ghost in LDS Ritual Experience: Preparation for Exaltation

12:00 – 14:00 Lunch (included in meal package)

14:00 – 15:30 From Ancient to Modern Times

Douglas J. Davies, Durham University, England
Emotions, Ritual Practice and Spirituality-Creation

Ingrid Sherlock-Taselaar, SOAS, University of London, England
Mormonism and Ritual: Examples of the Survival of a Doctrine and the Demise of the Attendant

Ronan James Head, Brigham Young University, USA/England
Feasts and Feasting: From Ancient Egypt to the Ward Party

15:30 Closing of the Conference

EMSA Conference 2011


The European Mormon Studies Association
Annual Conference

Durham University, England

4–5 August 2011

Keynote speaker: Prof. Walter E.A. van Beek
Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Invited plenary speaker: Prof. Robert Hayward
Durham University, England

Call for Papers
“Mormonism and Ritual”

Partial financial support provided by the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, Brigham Young University.

Mormonism is traditionally thought of as low church,” having informal church services and modes of prayer. On the other hand, Mormonism is replete with ritual when it comes to temple service and other priesthood functions. This duality and breadth provides rich opportunities for probing the relationship between Mormonism and ritual in multiple scholarly domains.

Papers are invited on topics including but not limited to: What significance does ritual play in Mormon life? How does Mormonism compare to other Christian and non-Christian faith traditions in terms of ritual? How is Mormon theology manifested in the faith’s ritual? How has the place of ritual in Mormonism varied historically?

Those wishing to present a paper at the conference are requested to send a 200-word abstract to by 1 May 2011. If accepted, a notification will be given by 15 May 2011. It is expected that final papers will be approximately 3,000–3,500 words, being delivered in a time of 20–25 minutes each. A question and answer period will be available following each paper.

Meals and a block of rooms for accommodation are available at St Chad’s College, Durham University. Please make a reservation directly to St. Chad’s by 15 July at the latest using the university’s form.

Please register for the conference directly by leaving your name and affiliation in the comments box below or send an email to A conference fee of £10 will be charged at the venue.


Dr. Kim Östman
Conference Coordinator / 2011, European Mormon Studies Association