FRI, JAN 5, 2024 | 7:30-9:00 pm MDT
We’ll use their story to explore questions of science, truth, government, and religion, and how all of these things have changed in the past eighty years of American history.
Home of Jana and Rob Spangler
2013 E Lincoln Cir,
Holladay, UT 84124
Thanks to Jana and Rob for hosting this gathering in their home.
Or join us via Zoom.
Thanks to Tim and Aubrey Chavez and the Faith Matters Foundation for providing the Zoom connection. Scroll down the page for the link to connect virtually. Below that link are some helpful tips for being part of a Zoom convo.
To get email notifications of upcoming conversations go to the bottom of this site’s home page or text or call me at 801-695-5036.
I’m delighted that those who can’t attend in person can join virtually. I’m sorry I can’t give you the same care and attention given to those in person. But if you ever can join us physically in the same space, then I hope you will. Y0u won’t regret it. And if you have suggestions for how this space and these Zoom or in-person conversations can go better, then please contact me.
Betty and Barney Hill were the first Americans to claim abduction by aliens. They were an interracial couple living in New Hampshire in 1961, when, one September night, they encountered a strange light in the sky. After several years of nightmares and ulcers, they consulted a psychiatrist, and under hypnosis they – independently – told a story of the light landing on the road before them, small creatures emerging, and taking them aboard for medical experimentation before being returned to their car. The Hills’ experience came at the height of American interest in strange things in the sky, most famously in a series of official federal investigations, including Project Blue Book. Though Blue Book was shut down in 1969, it’s recently been revealed that a similar Pentagon program has been in operation for the past decade and a half. While the military worried that these things were hostile technology, other Americans believed that UFOs were benevolent spiritual messengers, and these craft quickly became central to the burgeoning New Age movement. This conversation will use the case of the Hills to explore the culture that has emerged around UFOs in the United States over the past eighty years.
Matthew Bowman was appointed the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, with a joint appointment in history and religion in 2019. He is a specialist in American religious history, with particular interests in Mormonism, new religious movements, and the development of the concept of “religion” in the United States. He teaches courses on North American religions and Mormonism in the department of religion, and on the history of the United States in the department of history.
Prior to his arrival at CGU, Bowman held positions at Hampden-Sydney College and Henderson State University. He received his PhD from Georgetown University in 2011, and has regularly appeared in the national media to comment on Mormonism and American religion. He has written for the Washington Post, Slate, The New Republic, and the Huffington Post, and has appeared on MSNBC and NPR.
He is the author or co-editor of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (Random House, 2012), Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Utah, 2016), and most recently Christian: The Politics of a Word in America (Harvard University Press, 2018). He is currently serving as co-editor of the University of Illinois Press series Introductions to Mormon Thought, and is working on a book length study of the mid-twentieth century correlation movement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
EXPLORE BEFORE WE MEET:
Matthew Bowman, The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill
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