3rd Annual Faith and Knowledge Conference- Duke/UNC

A Call for Papers
“The Intellectual Prospects for Mormonism”: The Third Biannual Faith and Knowledge Conference for LDS Graduate Students in Religion
Duke University/University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
February 2011
The Faith and Knowledge conference series was established in 2006 to bring together LDS graduate students in religious studies and related disciplines in order to explore the intellectual interactions between religious faith and scholarship. In past conferences, graduate students have been invited to reflect upon aspects of their own personal intellectual reconciliations—or their own failures to do so—between church and academy, and to offer fruitful solutions to fellow students undergoing similar intellectual journeys.
In keeping with these past objectives, we invite graduate students in religious studies and related disciplines (including philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ethics, history, and others) to consider Mormonism’s intellectual prospects. The Latter-day Saints are now a powerful institutional presence on the American scene, but they are not likely to have a significant intellectual presence in the Academy until scholarship and intellectuality are more fully integrated into Mormon life. An inquiry into the intellectual prospects of Mormonism must then address many questions. Such considerations may include, but are not limited to, the following inquiries:
  • How can we describe the changing nature of Mormon thought in the current era?
  • Where are the centers of intellectual creativity among Mormon scholars and thinkers today?
  • Will Mormon theology ever win the respect of other theologians?
  • Can the work of Mormon theologians be of any value to ordinary Latter-day Saints?
  • What theorists are of value in explicating Mormon thought?
  • What is the state of Mormon theorizing about an embodied God? Is it registering with other Christian thinkers?
  • Does Mormonism have anything to say to the world other than “join us?”
  • Are we making any headway on theorizing Mormon praxis?
  • Can ordinary Mormons make their peace with modern biblical scholarship? How can this be accomplished?
  • What is the role of Mormon scholars in integrating scriptural scholarship into Mormon life?
  • How can Mormons combat the “nice people–wacky religion” syndrome?
  • Does inter-faith dialogue dilute or intensify Mormon thought?
  • Why should Mormons participate in theological dialogue with non-Mormons?
  • Is a Mormon background a handicap or a help in getting a job in a non-Mormon institution?
Panelist papers should last approximately 10 minutes. Short proposals (no more than 250 words) should be sent to Ariel Bybee Laughton (ariel.laughton@gmail.com) by October 1, 2010. Presenters will be notified by December 1, 2010. Conference participants will be eligible to apply for financial assistance with travel and lodging expenses.

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