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5 Mormon Studies Conferences

It's certainly a hot time to be doing Mormon Studies. In the next two months there are five conferences happening around the country that folks might want to check out. Here is a basic rundown of events in chronological order, starting with the FRD one this weekend in D.C. (And if you're aware of any others, please let me know.)


Conference: At the Crossroads Again: Mormon and Protestant Encounters in the 19th and 21st Centuries

When: February  24-25

Where: Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.

Speakers include: David E. Campbell, Kendall Soulen, Elaine Heath (my author!), Kathleen Flake, Sen. Robert Bennett, Kristine Haglund, and others

Event description:

"This conference will engage the challenge and promise of dialogue between two religious traditions whose historical intersections have at times been characterized by misunderstanding and even condemnation: Mormonism and Protestant Christianity. . . . As both Latter-day Saints and Protestants move forward into the twenty-first century, they stand more ready than ever to engage in thoughtful dialogue and social collaboration."


Conference: Exploring Mormon Conceptions of the Apostasy

When: March 1-2

Where: BYU in Provo, Utah

Speakers include: Terryl Givens, Miranda Wilcox, Matthew Bowman, Ariel Bybee Laughton, Taylor Petrey, and others

Event description:

"The notion of an apostasy from the primitive gospel and the original church has been a key animating feature in Mormonism since its inception and in other 'religions of the book.' However, the concept of apostasy has proven to be tremendously fluid, with individual, institutional, communal, and historical meanings and applications all proliferating in religious thought throughout the ages. Fifteen faithful Mormon scholars from many scholarly backgrounds and methodologies will explore the concept of apostasy in various historical and religious contexts as we consider how to narrate apostasy in ways that remain historically authentic and cohere with Mormon theology."


Conference: Sunstone Ohio

When: March 10-11

Where: Kirtland, Ohio temple

Speakers include: John-Charles Duffy, Steve Taysom, Dan Vogel, John Hamer, and others

Event description:

"We are putting together our FIRST regional Sunstone Symposium in Kirtland, OH, March 10-11, 2012. If you are interested in attending, speaking, or volunteering for the planning committee, contact Mary Ellen at sunstoneme[at]gmail[dot]com for more information!"


Conference: Mormonism and the Internet

When: March 29-30

Where: Utah Valley University Library Auditorium

Speakers include: Joanna Brooks, Gideon Burton, David Charles, John Dehlin, Kristine Haglund, Patrick Mason, Ardia Parshall, Jana Riess, and others

Event description:

"The internet has transformed the way we access information and express ourselves. Without the constraints that have shackled traditional media in the past, it allows information to flow more freely and more rapidly than ever before. . . . Clearly the internet offers benefits to the Church in proselytizing and public relations. But it also presents challenges. For an institution that values single-purpose messaging, the chaotic nature of the internet defies correlation. Furthermore, the balkanized nature of the blogosphere challenges traditional ideals of religious community, permitting numerous Mormon discourse communities. And the internet allows detractors of Mormonism the same access as it does proponents. In this conference, we will reflect on evolving concepts of Mormon identity and community in the digital age."


Conference: "Circling the Wagons" conference for LGBTQ/SSA Mormons, Their Families, and Friends

When: April 20-22

Where: Washington, D.C. (Community of Christ, 3526 Massachusetts Avenue NW)

Speakers include: Mitch Mayne, Carol Lynn Pearson, and others

Event description:

"The morning will begin with a potluck brunch. Our keynote session will feature Mitch Mayne and the beloved Carol Lynn Pearson. Breakouts and TED-like talks will cover topics such as:

* Authenticity as a Mormon Lesbian
* Navigating homosexuality/SSA while attending church
* What helps (and hurts) when resolving sexual, religious and social conflicts
* A parent’s journey to understanding homosexuality/SSA
* Marriage equality and what it means for LGBTQ/SSA Mormons and their families

We’ll finish the day with a traditional Mormon Stories “Story Sharing” meeting and a catered Café Rio dinner."




Topics: Faith, Doctrine & Practice
Beliefs: Mormon
Tags: ardis parshall, ariel bybee laughton, brigham young university, carol lynn pearson, david charles, david e. campbell, elaine heath, exploring mormon conceptions of the apostasy, flunking sainthood, foundation for religious diplomacy, gideon burton, jana riess, joanna brooks, john dehlin, john-charles duffy, kathleen flake, kendall soulen, kristine haglund, matthew bowman, miranda wilcox, mitch mayne, mormon conferences, mormon stories, patrick mason, taylor petrey, terryl givens, wesley theological seminary


  1. The FRD-Wesley conference this Friday and Saturday will be streamed live online for free:

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