Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology 2019 Conference

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology will hold its 2019 Annual Meeting at the University of Utah, March 14-16. The theme is “More Nations Than One: Theology, Culture, and Pluralism.” As always, however, they will give full consideration to papers on any aspect of Latter-day Saint belief. They particularly encourage submissions on this year’s theme. Submissions are due by January 15th.

Quoting from the SMPT flier,

The Book of Mormon presents a highly inclusive vision of Go
humankind, affirming that “the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one” (1 Nephi 17:35). Yet distinctions among cultures appear to retain a meaningful role in God’s work, since he teaches them “of their own nation and tongue,” according to what “he seeth fit that they should have” (Alma 29:8). What role does the variety of nations and cultures among God’s children play in the project of building a people “of one heart and one mind” (Moses 7:18)?

Topics falling under this theme might include but are not limited to:

  • How does culture help, hinder, or shape spiritual growth?
  • The spiritual value of intercultural communication and cooperation
  • The place of varying religious traditions in God’s plan—the theology of religions
  • How has God’s message varied through human history, across time and place?
  • When “two nations shall run together the testimony . . . shall run together also” (2 Nephi 29:8)
  • What sort of culture might we expect in Zion?
  • Challenges and successes of a worldwide church
  • Loyalty to country and loyalty to God
  • Religion’s role in defining, dividing, and uniting cultures
  • Roles of general revelation and special (including individual) revelation within the church
  • How American is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
  • The House of Israel, its scattering and gathering
  • The Book of Mormon’s expansion of the Abrahamic covenant

For more information, visit our web site at www.smpt.org, or contact SMPT Secretary Dan Wotherspoon at , or Vice President Benjamin Huff at .

I wasn’t able to attend last year due to my heart infection. While it seems like I’ve attended far fewer meetings of late than I’d like, I always get a ton out of the presentations. It’s great seeing old friends I don’t get to see much anymore as well.

I think that theology unfortunately gets short shift in the more academic treatment of Mormonism. Usually it’s social, political or historical avenues of inquiry that get the most attention. However I really think that theological inquiry is essential for our faith. This is the premier venue for that, especially since once popular outlets like LDS-Phil or LDS-Herm have largely become defunct. (At least there usually only a few posts per month)

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