Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunstone Symposium

Over 100 scholars and Mormon studies enthusiasts are putting final touches on their presentations for the annual Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium.  This years theme is "Celebrating Mormon Women's Contributions to Church and Culture."

One of the panels looks at two historians who wrote about  Emma Smth  25 years ago.  Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery wrote a frank biography of the founding prophet's wife.   "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith" was highly acclaimed with multiple awards, but there were repercussions for the authors.  The panel will explore impact of their biography.

According to Mary Ellen Robertson, Sunstone Director of Outreach and Symposia, "Both the symposia and Sunstone Magazine have been front runners in the field of Mormon Studies well before Mormonism became a popular area of academic study ...  We've provided a venue for academics, lay historians, and Mormon history buffs to present their research."

A sampling of other topics at this year's symposium include:

  • The 1953 and 2008 raids on FLDS communities
  • Mormon Family Adventures in Africa, 1929-2009
  • The Utah County's Dream Mine
  • Pioneer women
  • Church historical sites and the construction of testimony
  • The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Community of Christ's revelation on women and the priesthood
  • The Book of Mormon witnesses
  • A look back at Mormon feminist Sonia Johnson
  • Discussion of the book "Nauvoo Polygamy ... but we called it celestial marriage"

Sunstone is celebrating it's 30th year of operation.  Robertson says during that time it has become a vast archive of research "documenting issues in Mormon history as well as keeping a finger on the pulse of contemporary issues and interests in the LDS community."  Thousands of articles and mp3 audio presentations are available at the sunstone website.

The symposium runs from August 12th-15th and is open to the public. 

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