Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Foundations of Mormon Theology: The Nature of God and the Human

Excerpts of SUMMER SEMINAR ON JOSEPH SMITH by JaredT at juvenileinstructor  see here for entire article.

The Foundations of Mormon Theology: The Nature of God and the Human

Brigham Young University

In the summer of 2010, Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates on the theme of Mormon theological foundations.  The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from June 1 to July 9.  The seminar continues the series of seminars on Joseph Smith begun in the summer of 1997.

The seminar will be conducted by Terryl Givens, Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, under the direction of Richard Bushman.

The aim of the seminar will be to investigate the earliest elaboration of Mormon conceptions of God and Man.  Topics we will investigate will include pre-mortal existence, spirit and intelligence, the meaning and purpose of embodiment, divine anthropomorphism, human theosis, eternal increase, and related concepts.  We will be attempting to construct a history of these ideas, from first appearance in Latter-day Saint discourse to their present form.  The emphasis will be on recovering the earliest efforts to articulate these doctrines.  We will be searching the writings of Joseph Smith, the Pratt brothers, and other first generation writers.  Principal sources will include sermons, pamphlets, newspaper accounts (LDS and general), journals, and diaries.  The class will be in seminar format, and student contributions will be supplemented by regular guest lecturers.  Each participant will be asked to prepare a paper for presentation in a public symposium in the final week.

Applications are welcomed from students of history, literature, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, philosophy and other humanistic and so- cial scientific fields.  Preference will be given to those with knowledge of Latter-day Saint history and experience in analyzing texts.  Advanced undergraduates and graduate students at any level of preparation are eligible.

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