May 19, 2019

New Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies

CGU Provost Office banner

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Matthew Bowman will join the faculty of Claremont Graduate University as the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies and Associate Professor of Religion and History, beginning July 1, 2019.

Professor Bowman is a nationally renowned scholar of American religion and culture and a leader in the field of Mormon studies.  He is the author or editor of several books.  The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (Random House, 2012) was published at the height of the so-called “Mormon moment,” when Mitt Romney was making his second run for the presidency and The Book of Mormon musical was dominating the Broadway stage.  The Mormon People is widely recognized as the best single-volume history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Bowman also co-edited a collection of essays called Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Utah Press, 2016), which assembled an interdisciplinary group of scholars to advance our understanding of women’s experiences in the Mormon movement.

Most recently, Bowman published Christian: The Politics of a Word in America (Harvard University Press, 2018), which explores the multiple ways Christianity in the United States has been mobilized in the political realm.  He is also the author of The Urban Pulpit: New York City and the Fate of Liberal Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2014), which traces the rise of ecumenical, socially activist evangelical Christianity as a product of the increasing cultural diversity in post-Civil War America.

According to Professor Richard Bushman, the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University and first holder of the Howard W. Hunter Chair at CGU, Professor Bowman “stands out as one of the most insightful, ingenious, and original of Latter-day Saint scholars practicing today.  He works fast and he works deep.  He is the ideal person to lead the Claremont program.  I am thrilled by his appointment.”

Patrick Mason, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, echoes this sentiment:  “Professor Bowman comes to CGU having already established a sterling reputation in multiple academic subfields.  As collegial as he is bright and energetic, he will be an outstanding teacher, mentor, and colleague while also pursuing pathbreaking scholarship.  He is perfectly suited to take on the intellectual and programmatic leadership associated with the Hunter Chair.”

Dr. Bowman received his PhD in American history from Georgetown University.  For the past several years he has been an associate professor of history at Henderson State University, where he has taught courses in modern American history, American religion, and race.  Prior to that he taught at Hampden Sydney College.  He is frequently consulted by the national media on matters related to Latter-day Saint history and culture, with appearances in outlets such as the New York TimesWashington Post, New RepublicSlateTime, and National Public Radio.

At CGU Professor Bowman will teach courses primarily in Mormon studies, American religions, and American history.

On behalf of all my colleagues at Claremont Graduate University, we welcome Dr. Matthew Bowman to the faculty, and look forward to seeing what the future of his already distinguished career will bring!

Patricia Easton
Executive Vice President and Provost
Claremont Graduate University