2009 Summer Seminar Symposium: Schedule

By June 25, 2009

Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought

Public Symposium at Brigham Young University

Sponsored by the Mormon Scholars Foundation

July 2, 2009

B092 of the Joseph F. Smith Building at BYU

In the tradition of Richard Bushman?s summer seminars on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism, eight graduate students, under the direction of Terryl Givens and Matthew Grow, have studied the writings of Orson and Parley Pratt and will be presenting their research at this symposium. The seminar has been hosted by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

10:00 Terryl Givens, University of Richmond, Introduction

10:10 Ryan Tobler, University of Chicago, ?Parley Pratt and Evolving Views of the American Republic in Early Mormonism?

10:40 Jordan Watkins, University of Nevada-Las Vegas: ??All of One Species?: Parley P. Pratt and the Evolution of Early Mormon Conceptions of Theosis?

11:10 Christopher Blythe, Utah State University: ?Spiritual Gifts and Mormon Identity in the Nineteenth Century?

11:40 Loyd Ericson, Claremont Graduate School: “?The Great Grand Executor?: The Development of the Holy Spirit in the Thought of Orson and Parley Pratt?
Intermission for Lunch

1:30 Musical Interlude: Songs of Parley P. Pratt, Liz and Katie Davis (descendants of Parley Pratt and accomplished cellist and fiddler with the folk musical group FiddleSticks)

1:45 Adriane Rodrigues, University of Minas Gerais: ?Parley Pratt’s ?Mighty Pen? and Satire?

2:15 Benjamin Park, University of Edinburgh: “?Here was an End of Mysticism?: Divine Embodiment, Human Corporality, and the Pratt Brothers?

2:45 Joseph Spencer, San Jose State University: “?A Wellcome Messenger?: The Development of Parley P. Pratt’s Theology of Death?

3:15 Trevan Hatch, Baltimore Hebrew University: ?Remembering the Chosen: The Gathering of the Jews and the Tribes of Israel in the Minds of Parley and Orson Pratt?

Article filed under Announcements and Events


  1. Looks like a great line up. Wish I could be there.

    Comment by David G. — June 25, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

  2. I will be there! I just put it up on MormonConferences.org as an annual event since that is definitely looking like the trend. The event is sponsored by the Mormon Scholars Foundation, but they aren’t putting their name out there I guess in their announcements.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — June 25, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  3. Sounds wonderful. I too wish I were there.

    Comment by J. Stapley — June 25, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

  4. Will papers be made available in some format for those not able to attend?

    Comment by Mark Staker — June 25, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  5. Mark: BYU Studies usually collects the papers into a single volume, but that usually takes some time. For instance, the papers from the 2006 and 2007 seminars, which are being printed together, are still not available. Three volumes (97-99, 2000-2002, and 2003), are now available.

    However, all papers are allowed–and even encouraged–to find another venue for publication. Two papers from 2007 have been published thus far: one in Dialogue, one in Fides et Historia.

    Comment by Ben — June 25, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  6. Awesomenesssss.

    Comment by Jared T — June 25, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  7. Mark, I will be there to provide personal encouragement for them to be submitted to Dialogue. However, those of you with connections and powers of persuasion should feel free to lean on/bribe the authors to submit them, as well 🙂

    I will say, and not purely out of self-interest, that the version of my summer seminar paper that ended up in Dialogue was considerably better than the one that went in the BYU Studies collection, after being thoroughly worked over by the Dialogue editorial board (especially Armand) and getting comments from referees.

    Comment by Kristine — June 25, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  8. Also, I should confess that the BYU Studies collection of the 2003 papers was probably delayed in publication because of the length of time it took to untangle my footnotes, which were a total mess.

    Comment by Kristine — June 25, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  9. I happen to be in town and also hope to be there.

    I concur with Kristine: My seminar paper sent to Dialogue was thoroughly worked over and re-worked over and so naturally resulted in being much better than when I presented it, thanks to Armand and Lavina. I’m excited for the presentations.

    Comment by Jacob B. — June 25, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  10. If you all didn’t know it, July 2 is Leonard Arrington’s birthday, so that’s a great day to have this Symposium.

    Comment by Jared T — June 26, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  11. wish i could make it. good luck to all.

    Comment by smb — June 26, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  12. Can anybody tell me more about Ryan Tobler from the University of Chicago? Is he a MA or PhD student? What is his area of research? Is he LDS? Thanks!

    Comment by oudenos — June 26, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

  13. Ryan Tobler will be starting his MA at Chicago in the fall. He is, as far as I know, LDS and recently graduated from BYU. He also is the same Ryan that blogs here at the JI.

    Comment by Christopher — June 27, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  14. Yep. That’s me. Thanks, Chris.

    Comment by Ryan T — June 29, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  15. Kudos, Juvenile Instructors Ryan, Jordan, and Ben, on your impressive papers.

    Comment by Elizabeth — July 3, 2009 @ 3:09 am

  16. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, I’m sure you all did great!

    Comment by Jared T — July 3, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  17. Is Ryan Tobler perhaps related to the Douglas Tobler who used to teach German and European intellectual history at BYU? A son or, more likely, grandson?

    Comment by Nick — July 3, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  18. Ryan is Douglas’s grandson, yes.

    Comment by Christopher — July 3, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  19. It should probably be mentioned that a write-up of Ryan’s presentation at the symposium is currently at Mormon Times.

    Comment by Jacob B. — July 3, 2009 @ 5:52 pm


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