Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

SAT, OCT 8, 2005 (30:19)

Richard L Bushman makes a strong case for Joseph Smith’s vision as a trace of the regional culture that he left behind with his childhood. Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, was a New Englander at heart: his family left the region when he was 10 and he never returned. Economic hardship and religious confusion cut him off from his New England roots, but his religious vision evoked the Antinomian side of the Puritan heritage, and his attempts to build a City of Zion are powerfully reminiscent of the first generation’s desire to erect “a city on a hill”.

+ BIO: Richard L. Bushman

Richard Bushman received his AB, AM, and PhD degrees from Harvard University, where he studied with distinguished early American historian Bernard Bailyn. Bushman taught at Harvard, Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware before joining the history faculty at Columbia. During the 2007-08 academic year, Bushman served as Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and held a Huntington Library fellowship. Bushman is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He interrupted his undergraduate studies at Harvard to serve as a missionary in New England and Atlantic Canada, and he has held various lay positions within the Mormon Church, including Seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and Stake Patriarch.

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