Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

College and University Courses on Latter-day Saint Arts

Would you like to teach a course on Latter-day Saint arts in a college or university?  Do you need assistance with readings or approach?  We would like to help.

The Center is assembling examples of syllabi as an aid to teachers who are contemplating a course on Latter-day Saint art.

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Saints & Cinema: Mormons, Modernity, and Moving Images

This course is designed around the concept of Latter-day Saint cinema as a "minor literature," constructed within a major language. In this sense, Latter-day Saint motion pictures can be seen as showcasing and shaping religious practice, belief, identity, and culture within the major and established language of cinema. From its earliest years cinema became a site to debate the prospect of fitting Mormons into the modern world. Could it also facilitate the modernization of Mormons? With an increasing awareness of public image and the medium's potential, Latter-day Saints entered the public sphere of cinema to express their worldview. As it did for other minority groups, cinema offered Saints opportunities to celebrate, critique, and work through their culture and religious tradition.

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Religion, Media & Culture: An Introductory Survey

What role does media play in the construction of religious identity in America? Inspired by the Harvard Religious Literacy Initiative (RLI), this course considers how journalism, film, television, and social media influence American perceptions of religion. Based on America’s significant daily consumption of screen content, media "may well be the primary site where Americans encounter other religions.”[1] For this reason, American audiences need be equipped to critically analyze religious representations in the media. Using a cultural studies approach introduced by Stuart Hall, this class will examine media producers, text, and audiences. What are the motivations, intentions, and backgrounds of the producers and publishers? Do the media narratives, themes, and characters reinforce religious stereotypes or challenge them? How are religious complexities, controversies, and sacred beliefs portrayed? Do audiences accept or reject the intended message? As a case study, this class will survey a range of media produced about, by, and/or for Mormons. 

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