Showing posts with label Sunstone Symposium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunstone Symposium. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"Divine Disenchantment:" Sunstone Paper Online

Last Sunday I presented my paper at Sunstone Symposium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The paper was titled "Divine Disenchantment: Transitions, and Assisting Those in Religious Migration." The abstract:

Reliable statistical data from social science research indicates that thousands of Latter-day Saints leave the Mormon Church each year. Over time, these individuals adopt a variety of irreligious and religious pathways in reaction to their prior Mormon experience. Although much focus has been given to the study of religious affiliation, very little attention has been given to the processes of religious disaffiliation and reaffiliation (religious switching), and how this journey relates to new destinations for former Mormons. Multidisciplinary material exists that can serve in the creation of resources to those making a spiritual migration from one religious group to another.  In order to address this deficit, this seminar will discuss the background behind Transitions, a new video and workbook resource designed for immigrants shifting from Mormonism to more traditional forms of Christianity. It will consider the reality of religious disaffiliation and switching; the perspective and needs of the former LDS transitioner; the multidisciplinary perspectives, resources, and strategy that inform Transitions; and how religious institutions might better assist those making the journey from one religious tradition to another.
The paper was surprisingly well received. Although my respondent took some exception to aspects of the paper, one notable audience member pushed back as to the Sunstone audience finding aspects of the approach worthy of consideration, and another audience member shared his inner conflict over the high quality of the video.

This paper is being considered in a forthcoming volume. In the near future Sunstone should have the presentation available for purchase in MP3 and CD. It is available for download on my page.

Update August 7, 2012: I just discovered a presentation at the recent FAIR LDS apologetics conference that parallels my own at Sunstone. Rosemary Avance presented an interesting paper titled "Seeing the Light: Parallels in Mormon Conversion and De-Conversion Stories."

Saturday, August 08, 2009

2009 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium Next Week

I recently received the program for the 2009 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium. It figures that during a year when my schedule unfortunately prohibits me from attending that several sessions are of great interest. Not to worry: I've already sent an email asking how I can order recordings of the sessions on MP3 or CD at the symposium's conclusion. Those of greatest appeal to me due to personal and research interests include the following:
"Mormons and Mediums: LDS Women's Pursuit of Mediated and Non-Mediated Communication with the Dead" moderated by Carolyn Campbell and featuring panelists of Deloris Beynon, Laura Bush, Doe Daughtrey, and Pepper Gregory.
"Sacred Sci-Fi: The Fiction of Orson Scott Card as Mormon Mythmaking" by Christopher C. Smith.
"Us-Them Tribalism and Early Mormonism" by D. Michael Quinn.
"Religious Tribalism in the Larger Society" chaired by D. Michael Quinn and also including panelists Colleen McDannell, David C. Knowlton, and Jan Shipps.
"Adam & Eve in America: Gnostic Mormon Retellings of the Genesis Narrative" by Boyd J. Petersen.
"Do Mormon Moms Dream of Monstrous Gods?: Interpreting Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Myth moderated by Maxine Hanks and including panelists Holly Welker, Doe Daughtrey and Jana K. Riess.
"Young Scholars in Mormon Studies" moderated by Brian Birch and involving panelists Elizabeth Pinborough, Brittany A. Chapman, Lloyd Ericson, and Boyd J. Peterson.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2008 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium

Today I received a brochure announcing the 2008 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium, to be held August 6-9. This year's theme is an interesting one as Mormons grapple with "The Spirituality of the Rising Generation." As the brochure describes, "the symposium will feature about a dozen sessions relating to the fit between today's Mormonism and the life-worlds of young adults (late teens through early thirties)." Two of the evening plenary sessions caught my eye in the form of noted sociologist Wade Clark Roof's presentation on Wednesday, August 6 "on the spirituality of the rising generation and inter-generational dynamics within churches." And on Friday, August 8 outgoing Sunstone editor Dan Wotherspoon, and Susan Skoor, an apostle of the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), will speak on "Pillars of My Faith."

Pre-registration for the conference must be received before August 4 which can be done through Sunstone's website (link above) or by calling (801) 355-5926.