A New Summer Seminar on Mormonism with Terryl Givens and Matt Grow

From Givens:


“Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought”
Brigham Young University
May 26-July 3, 2009

In the summer of 2009, Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates on the theme of Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought. The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from May 26 to July 3. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3000 plus a housing subsidy if needed. The seminar continues the series of seminars on Joseph Smith begun in the summer of 1997.

The seminar will be conducted by Terryl Givens, Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, and Matthew Grow, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana, under the direction of Richard Bushman, Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies in the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. The aim of the seminar will be to investigate the writings of Parley and Orson Pratt, and their influence on the development of nineteenth-century Mormon thought. After Joseph Smith, the Pratts were the most important figures in developing, systematizing, and promulgating the doctrines of early Mormonism. A major focus will be establishing what was original in their thought and what was borrowed or derivative. We will explore the theological, intellectual, and cultural contexts behind the Pratts’ work, and ask what was lasting and what was ephemeral in their influence on subsequent Mormonism. Each participant will prepare a paper for presentation in a public symposium in the final week and for later publication.

Applications are welcomed from students of history, literature, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, philosophy and other humanistic and social scientific fields. Preference will be given to those with knowledge of Latter-day Saint history and experience in analyzing texts. Advanced undergraduates and graduate students at any level of preparation are eligible.

Applications should be submitted by February 15, 2009. Notifications will be sent by March 15, 2009. For application materials, write to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute by surface or email.

Summer Seminar on Joseph Smith
200 WAIH
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
email: [email protected] phone: (801) 422 7154 fax: (801) 422 0040

3 comments for “A New Summer Seminar on Mormonism with Terryl Givens and Matt Grow

  1. What a worthwhile time to spend a summer.
    I am quite interested in this matter, since I attended BYU a very long time ago. There is a great need, particularly in the future, to fully develop political doctrines based on the Words of Jesus Christ.

    This year, the 2008 election season, is a precursor for rise of the great nation of the Gentiles. Of the Gentiles, Malachi wrote: For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name [Jehovah or Jesus Christ] shall be great among the Gentiles and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name and a pure offering. For My name shall be great among the heathen, said the Lord of hosts. Sure, they love the Messiah, but they are burning incense to glorify Him. Now, what about those, who want to make a pure offering to glorify Him.

    From what Malachi said, it would seem a winning proposition for them. It is not. Before Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites, the young strippling warriors took up the cause to defend the Nephites, who had taken the vow against killing and now could not to take up arms against the invading Lamanite Army. Since these these young strippling brethren never had taken that oath, that would leave them defenseless, they became defenders of the faith.

    There have been examples in the Bible in the Book of Mormon, where political action took place very effectively, stories based on Esther and the tradition of Purim; Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar and, of course, Alma in the Court of King Noah.

    The political struggle in California to get proposition 8, Marriage Initiative, approved is just the beginning. It is not, whether marriage between a man and a woman is truth, but there are many other doctrines of the Lord that are going to be targetted.

    I see the California political action as a learning experience for our Stake and Ward officials to counter this trend. One thing I learned from the scriptures, sometimes the Lord allows us to loose a battle in order to gain wisdom.

    Joseph Smith, Jr said that he was a rough stone rolling off a high mountain, shedding his rough edges as he rolled down. In the eyes of my mind, that is another skill to be acquired by our local Stake and Ward officials.

    Edward A. Erdtsieck

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