2010 Joseph Smith Summer Seminar Call for Applicants: The Foundations of Mormon Theology

By January 11, 2010

Fresh from my inbox:


?The Foundations of Mormon Theology: The Nature of God and the Human?

Brigham Young University

June  1-July 9, 2010

In the summer of 2010, Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates on the theme of Mormon theological foundations. The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from June 1 to July 9.  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, under the direction of Richard Bushman.

The aim of the seminar will be to investigate the earliest elaboration of Mormon conceptions of God and Man. Topics we will investigate will include pre-mortal existence, spirit and intelligence, the  meaning and purpose of embodiment, divine anthropomorphism, human theosis, eternal increase, and related concepts. We will be attempting to construct a history of these ideas, from first appearance in Latter-day Saint discourse to their present form. The emphasis will be on recovering the earliest efforts to articulate these doctrines. We will be searching the writings of Joseph Smith, the Pratt brothers, and other first generation writers. Principal sources will include sermons, pamphlets, newspaper accounts (LDS and general), journals, and diaries. The class will be in seminar format, and student contributions will be supplemented by regular guest lecturers. Each participant will be asked to prepare a paper for presentation in a public symposium in the final week.

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 28, 2010.  Notifications will be sent by March 15, 2010.  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: elin_roberts@byu.edu   phone: (801) 422 7154    fax: (801) 422 0040

The summer seminar is conducted with the generous support of the Mormon Scholars Foundation.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. I’ve added it to the Calls for Papers section of MormonConferences.org.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — January 11, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  2. Great, Kent. Don’t forget to post the SLMSSA event also (see previous post). Thanks.

    Comment by Jared T — January 11, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

  3. This sounds fun.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 11, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  4. I’ve been waiting for this. . . .

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 11, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  5. If I were to attend, I probably would try to work on the study of “spirit birth” that I have had in my queue for years. Hopefully someone will dig in and do some good work there.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 11, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  6. Yeah Jared, I got that one too.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — January 11, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  7. That would be a good one, J. Other good topics would be the concept of “free agency” (I just came across a reference in a proslavery tract that talked about the need for governments so blacks can keep their “free agency”) and the idea of the plan of salvation, which from what I understand is also a Methodist idea. I’ve also come across a few references to “time and eternity” in colonial sources which might be interesting to explore.

    Comment by David G. — January 11, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  8. Go, Liz!

    Comment by matt b — January 12, 2010 @ 12:56 am


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