Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 2007 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium


The 2007 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium
By: Dan - July 2, 2007

The preliminary program for the Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium has just gone to press. Here is an online version. This version will be updated periodically in the weeks between now and the symposium as we continue to add panelists and respondents to some of the sessions.

This year's symposium will be held 8-11 August at the Salt Lake Sheraton City Centre Hotel, the same hotel as the past several years. We hope you'll make plans to attend—and participate!

Workshops and other featured sessions and topics this year include:

Writing a Life: Finding the Best Angle, with Phyllis Barber
Meditation for Mormons, with John Kesler
The Desire to Be God: Existential Philosophy and Mormonism, with James McLachlan
Positive Heart-Based Tools for Coherent Living, with Robert A. Rees
Staying in the Church After Becoming Disaffected, with John Dehlin

(Workshops are half-day sessions held Wednesday, 8 August, and require a separate registration.)

This year's evening plenary sessions are:

Wednesday, 8pm—Smith-Pettit Lecture: The Making of The Mormons, Or My Four Years as a Stranger in the Strange Land of Mormonism, by filmmaker Helen Whitney

Thursday, 8pm—Panel Discussion: Mormonism's "Mitt Moment"

Friday, 8pm—Pillars of My Faith, by John Kesler and Jana Riess

Saturday, 7pm—Banquet: Joseph Smith Meets Mitt Romney: What Does the Mormon Past Contribute to the Crafting of a Credible Global Vision for the 21st Century? By W. Grant McMurray, former prophet-president of the Community of Christ

Other symposium highlights include (session numbers in brackets):

• The first-ever screening of Richard Dutcher's very personal new film, Falling (session 125)

• A review panel for The Mormons (131), as well as a screening of "Faith and Doubt," a never-before-seen act that was cut from the film before it aired (161)

• Multiple sessions on LDS women's experiences (132, 162, 325, 331, 353, 373)

• Several sessions on Mormons and environmental questions (133, 211, 321)

• Sessions on LDS social activism, BYU protests, and how Latter-day Saints might be peacemakers (163, 171, 174, 232, 272, 362)

• An interview with Darius Gray, former president of the Genesis Group and the person who is heading up a documentary film project, Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons (261)

• Using Humor to Negotiate Mormon Culture and Faith (172)

Live performances at the symposium:

• Stand-up Comedy—Mormon Meets World—by Bengt Washburn (141)
• Mormon Blues and Gospel (273)
• Reading: Mrs. Joe Smith: First Lady of Mormondom, by Kimberly Mellen (332)
• "Love, Lies & Skye: Conversations with God" by Skye Pixton (363)

And there's much more!

Please look over the symposium program and let us know what catches your eye!


Dan Wotherspoon
Editor, Sunstone

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