The Long Approach to the Mormon Moment: The Building of an American Church

A public lecture by Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

line drawing of a person in a chair talking, audience members, and a person with a microphone



Danforth University Center, Room 234 Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


  • The Long Approach to the Mormon Moment: The Building of an American Church

    Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp (April 12, 2012)


Laurie Maffly-Kipp has been at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1989.  She received her BA from Amherst College in English and Religion (summa cum laude), and completed the PhD in American History at Yale University (1990).  She is now a professor and chair of the Religious Studies department and holds an adjunct appointment in the American Studies Curriculum.

Professor Maffly-Kipp’s research and teaching focuses on African-American religions, religion on the Pacific borderlands of the Americas, and issues of intercultural contact.  In Religion and Society in Frontier California (Yale University Press, 1994) she explored the nature of Protestant spiritual practices in Gold Rush California.  In articles on Mormon-Protestant conflicts in the Pacific Islands, African-Ameriacns in Haiti and Africa, and Protestant outreach to Chinese immigrants  in California, Professor Maffly-Kipp has analyzed the religious contours of nineteenth-century American life.  Along with Leigh Schmidt and Mark Valeri, she served as co-editor of a recent volume of essays entitled Practicing Protestants: Histories of Christian Life in America, 1630-1965 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).  She also co-edited a collection of essays about Mormonism in the Pacific World, Proclamation to the People: Nineteenth-Century Mormonism and the Pacific Basin Frontier, with Reid Neilson (University of Utah press, 2008), and wrote the introduction for the Penguin Classics edition of the Book of Mormon (2008).  Most recently she authored Setting Down the Sacred Past: African-American Race Histories (Harvard University Press, 2010); and Women’s Work, an edited collection of writings by African-American women historians co-edited with Kathryn Lofton (Oxford University Press, 2010).  Currently she is working on a survey of Mormonism in American life that will be published by Basic Books.

Maffly-Kipp is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a grant for a collaborative project on the History of Christian Practice from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., fellowships at the National Humanities Center, and an NEH Fellowship for University Professors.


  • Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp

    Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor & Interim Dean and Vice Provost for Graduate Education