Call for Papers: â€œInterpretation: LDS Perspectivesâ€
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 â€œInterpretation: LDS Perspectives.â€
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 â€œMormonâ€ 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 â€œMaking Graduate School Spiritually, Academically, and Professionally Successful.â€ 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 George_Handley@byu.edu by January 11, 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 at http://www.mormonscholars.org/