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Religious Scholar to Discuss LDS Leader Joseph Smith

March 24, 2011 — Religious scholar Phillip Barlow will give an informative lecture on the life of Joseph Smith at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in Room 129 of the University of Wyoming Classroom Building.

The free lecture is sponsored by the Religious Studies program, with support from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Laramie Latter-day Saints stake.

Barlow's lecture, "The Fragmentation of Reality: Joseph Smith's Radical Remedy," will focus on religious insight of Smith.

Associate Professor Quincy Newell says Smith has been interpreted variously:  A visionary who sought to restore primitive Christianity; a fraud who came to believe his own delusions; a religious genius; a cultural scavenger who reflected folk beliefs of his time and place; and a "rough stone rolling" down a mountain who was tested and polished by God through adversity. 

"With these interpretations, Barlow will discuss Smith's view on the fracturing of reality and his goal to heal, which entailed biblical, denominational, theological, ontological, existential, economic, political, social, racial, geographical, physical, and temporal dimensions," says Newell.  "An attempt to grasp the breadth and depth of Smith's vision reveals much about Smith himself, about Mormonism and about antebellum religion and society in America."

Barlow has studied and published extensively about religion and the ideals of Mormonism. 

For more information on the lecture contact the Religious Studies Program at (307) 766-3204 or e-mail

Phillip Barlow will lecture about Mormon leader Joseph Smith Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in Room 129 of the University of Wyoming Classroom Building.

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