Patrick Mason became Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in 2011.
Professor Mason is an American religious historian and scholar of Mormon Studies who earned his PhD in U.S. history from the University of Notre Dame. He also earned an MA in international peace studies at Notre Dame, with an emphasis in religion, violence, and peacebuilding. Prior to that he had graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in history.
In addition to leading the Mormon Studies program at Claremont, Professor Mason serves as chair of the Religion Department and anchors the department’s major in Religions of North America. Prior to joining the faculty at CGU, Mason taught U.S. history, politics, and religion at the American University in Cairo before returning to Notre Dame to help launch an interdisciplinary research project on modern Catholicism, Islam, and secularism called “Contending Modernities.”
Professor Mason’s first book is The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011). Along with David Pulsipher and Richard Bushman, he co-edited the book War and Peace in Our Time: Mormon Perspectives (Greg Kofford Books, 2012). Among his recent scholarly articles and book chapters are “Mormonism and Politics” (Religion and American Culture, Winter 2013); “Mormon Blogs, Mormon Studies, and the Mormon Mind” (Dialogue, Fall 2012); “‘The Wars and the Perplexities of the Nations’: Reflections on Early Mormonism, Violence, and the State” (Journal of Mormon History, Summer 2012); “Honor, the Unwritten Law, and Extralegal Violence: Contextualizing Parley Pratt’s Murder” (Parley P. Pratt and the Making of Mormonism, Arthur H. Clark, 2011); “God and the People: Theodemocracy in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism” (Journal of Church and State, Summer 2011); “Opposition to Polygamy in the Postbellum South” (Journal of Southern History, August 2010); “What’s So Bad about Polygamy? Teaching American Religious History in the Muslim Middle East” (Journal of American History, March 2010); and “The Prohibition of Interracial Marriage in Utah, 1888-1963” (Utah Historical Quarterly, Spring 2008).
His current research projects include a biography of Ezra Taft Benson; a book (co-authored with David Pulsipher) constructing a Mormon theology and ethic of peace; and two edited volumes of essays — on Mormonism since World War II, and on new directions in the field in Mormon Studies.
An expert on Mormonism and the historical role of religion in American public life, Professor Mason has often been featured in the national media, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, PBS, and the Huffington Post. He also serves on the steering committee for the Mormon Studies Group at the American Academy of Religion, and on the boards of directors for both the Dialogue Foundation and the Mormon History Association.