Feast upon the Word Blog

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New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology

Posted by joespencer on October 10, 2013

Seminar Sunstone

The Mormon Theology Seminar and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship are pleased to announce the First Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology, “A Dream, a Rock, and a Pillar of Fire: Reading 1 Nephi 1.”

The seminar will be held at BYU’s London Centre in June 2014. Graduate students, junior scholars, independent scholars, senior scholars, and European-based scholars from a range of disciplines are invited to apply. Full information is included below. A printable PDF of the call for applications can be found here.


The First Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology
“A Dream, a Rock, and a Pillar of Fire: Reading 1 Nephi 1”
Brigham Young University London Centre, London UK
June 9—June 20, 2014

Sponsored by the Mormon Theology Seminar
in partnership with
The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

In the summer of 2014, the Mormon Theology Seminar, in partnership with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University and with support from the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies and the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and faculty devoted to reading 1 Nephi 1.

The seminar will be held at the BYU London Centre in London, England, from June 9—June 20, 2014. Travel arrangements, housing, and a $1000 stipend will be provided for admitted participants. The seminar will be led by Adam Miller and Joseph Spencer, directors of the Mormon Theology Seminar, with assistance from Brian Hauglid, director of the Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, and James Faulconer, a Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding and the director of the BYU London Centre.

This summer seminar will take the Mormon Theology Seminar’s practice of facilitating intense, exploratory, interdisciplinary, and collaborative readings of Mormon scripture and adapt it for a live two-week format. During the first week, the seminar will meet daily to work word by word through 1 Nephi 1 from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (philosophical, historical, literary, anthropological, rhetorical, political, archeological, sociological, etc.) in order to promote theologically rich readings of the text. The second week will workshop conference papers and a joint-report based on the previous week’s collaboration and will culminate in a one-day conference on June 20, 2014. The conference proceedings will then be gathered and edited for publication.

The seminar welcomes applications from a wide variety of academic disciplines, cultural backgrounds, and geographic locations. Graduate students, junior scholars, and European-based scholars are especially encouraged to apply, though applications from senior and independent scholars are also welcome.

Applications should be submitted by December 15, 2013. Notifications will be sent by January 15, 2014. Application materials should include (1) a full curriculum vitae, (2) a 200 word statement regarding the applicant’s interest in the seminar, and (3) a 500-750 word essay that demonstrates the applicants ability to offer a close, creative, and theologically substantial reading of 1 Nephi 1:2-3.

Questions and application materials should be directed to brian_hauglid@byu.edu.

For more information about the Mormon Theology Seminar, its mission, and archives of its past work, visit http://www.mormontheologyseminar.org.

For more information about the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, visit http://www.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu.

3 Responses to “New Summer Seminar in Mormon Theology”

  1. sterflu said

    This sounds like an exciting new seminar series. I hope my analysis of 1 Nephi 1 over at our wiki, from April to September of 2007, offers some insights to participants. I’ve been away for a few years and didn’t realize the wiki was apparently attacked by a large number spam users throughout 2012. Have the former users of the wiki moved on to other projects or websites that allow for collaborative close reading? Or do they mostly blog and comment these days, both here and elsewhere?

  2. Robert C. said

    Sterflu, some of us are involved with the Mormon Theology Seminar (Joe and I), while others are either busy with other distractions in life or different scripture-related projects (writing at other blogs, or working on journal articles for publication). We’ve had occasional success, over the years, of announcing a particular set of verses to study over the course of a few weeks, or even months, but I think it’s been 2-3 years since we’ve done that. If there’s interest, we could try a project like that again….

  3. sterflu said

    Thanks for the response. I imagine people are staying busy. Maybe something in the Old Testament for 2014 that coincided with Gospel Doctrine could work.

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