Monday, October 08, 2007

Mormon Scholars in the Humanities, "Interpretation: LDS Perspectives"

"Interpretation: LDS Perspectives"
Sponsored by Mormon Scholars in the Humanities and Mormon Scholars Foundation
May 16-17, 2008
Southern Virginia University

As a continuation of the Faith and Knowledge series inaugurated by the
Religious Studies workshop for LDS graduate students at Yale
University in February 2007 and a follow-up to the inaugural Mormon
Scholars in the Humanities conference in March, 2007, Mormon Scholars
in the Humanities and Mormon Scholars Foundation are collaborating on
a conference to take place on May 16-17 of 2008 on the campus of
Southern Virginia University. The conference theme is "Interpretation:
LDS Perspectives."

The conference welcomes papers from all disciplines in the humanities,
including literature, religion, philosophy, history, and the arts,
that reflect on interpretation within the Mormon tradition or within
other traditions. We seek to address such questions as: What are the
grounds for Mormon interpretation? Are there reasons to argue against
a "Mormon" interpretation? Is it possible to extract interpretive
guidelines for understanding the world from our theology, our history,
or our way of life? Or is it best to borrow and adapt the perspectives
of secular culture and not strive for anything distinctive? What are
the particular dimensions and implications of interpretation laid out
in the restored scriptures? How is interpretation of history and of
literature distinct from the interpretation of sacred books? How do
they influence one another? What is the relationship between
interpretation and religious, academic, or political authority? What
difference does a restoration theology make to our acts of
interpretation? What lessons can be learned from the various
traditions we study in the humanities and how might the Mormon
tradition benefit from those traditions? What is the relevance, for
example, of literary theory? How is interpretation of music and art
and of foreign languages relevant to the restoration of all things? In
acts of interpretation, what are the distinct roles played by
inspiration, historical context, personality, and the text in
question? What is the religious, ethical, or secular value of a
self-conscious understanding of this process?

The conference will also hold a special workshop on "Making Graduate
School Spiritually, Academically, and Professionally Successful." The
aim of this workshop will be to facilitate conversation between senior
and junior level scholars about their graduate school experiences.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words and an abbreviated
CV to George Handley at by December 15, 2007.

Southern Virginia University will provide subsidized housing and food.
For those without sufficient travel funds of their own, modest
stipends will also be provided. All participants must be members of
MSH at the time of the symposium. Membership information is available

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