Allen J. Christenson

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Allen J. Christenson is a professor of humanities, classics, and comparative literature at Brigham Young University. He holds a PhD in Precolumbian Maya Art, Literature, and Culture from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received his DDS degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry.

His research focuses on the art, literature and ceremonial practices of the highland Maya of Guatemala. He has worked in the highland Maya region of Guatemala as a linguist, ethnographer, and art historian since 1976.

Christensen has published several books, including Burden of the Ancients: Maya Ceremonies of World Renewal from the Pre-Columbian Period to the Present (2016); Popol Vuh: Literal Poetic Version (2003); Art and Society in a Highland Maya Community (2001); and Popol Vuh: Sacred Book of the Ancient Maya (2007), a CD-Rom that includes high resolution scans of the Popol Vuh manuscript, a searchable database of the text that includes the Maya text as well as English and Spanish translations, a complete audio reading of the text by K’iche’-Maya speakers, hundreds of photographs, maps, and extensive notes.

He copublished (with Holley Moyes) The Popol Vuh in Myth, Cosmology and Ritual Practice (2017). Christenson has contributed numerous book chapters, encyclopedia entries, journal articles, and book reviews and has given numerous lectures both internationally and nationally. He has received numerous professional awards and honors.

He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.