War and Peace in Our Times: Mormon Perspectives
A conference sponsored by the Latter-day Saint Council on Mormon Studies, and
the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame
Held at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
March 18-19, 2011
In a world pervaded with religious fervor and seemingly perpetual war, it has become essential for religious believers to consider the realities of violent conflict and the possibilities for a more peaceful world. Adherents and scholars of the world’s largest religious bodies have had long and often contentious debates over what their sacred sources and traditions teach them about how and when, if ever, it is justifiable and even righteous to engage in violence. While some contend that religion is inherently violent, others maintain that the core message of all religions is peaceful coexistence and compassion for one’s neighbor; meanwhile, nuanced scholarly treatments suggest that in fact “the ambivalence of the sacred” on questions of war and peace is common to all faith traditions.
As a relatively young religion, Mormonism has not yet fully grappled with the many complicated questions of peace and war in the modern world, with all of their theological, social, and political ramifications, but the time is ripe to do so. Accordingly, this conference seeks to examine not only Mormonism’s history in relation to issues of war and peace, but also the resources within the tradition that provide a foundation for constructive discussion and dialogue about how individual Latter-day Saints and the broader church orient themselves in a world of violence.
We are soliciting papers reflecting on all aspects of Mormon perspectives on war and peace, from historical-social scientific, theological, and normative standpoints. Professional scholars, students, and members of the community at large, both LDS and non-LDS, are welcome to submit papers and to attend the conference; all sessions will be open to the public. The conference aims to be exploratory and deliberative, seeking to include and represent voices from across the spectrum and engage multiple perspectives in respectful dialogue.
The deadline for proposals, which should include a paper abstract of no more than 500 words and a brief CV of the presenter, is September 1, 2010. Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be directed to one of the conference co-chairs, Richard Bushman (email@example.com) or Patrick Mason (firstname.lastname@example.org).