Summer Seminar: Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought

Crossposted from The Juvenile Instructor

Joseph Smith Summer Seminar: Call for Applications

“Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought”
Brigham Young University May 26-July 3, 2009

In the summer of 2009, Brigham Young University will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates on the theme of Parley and Orson Pratt and Nineteenth-Century Mormon Thought. The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from May 26 to July 3. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3000 plus a housing subsidy if needed. 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, and Matthew Grow, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana, under the direction of Richard Bushman.

The aim of the seminar will be to investigate the writings of Parley and Orson Pratt, and their influence on the development of nineteenth-century Mormon thought. After Joseph Smith, the Pratts were the most important figures in developing, systematizing, and promulgating the doctrines of early Mormonism. A major focus will be establishing what was original in their thought and what was borrowed or derivative. We will explore the theological, intellectual, and cultural contexts behind the Pratts’ work, and ask what was lasting and what was ephemeral in their influence on subsequent Mormonism. Each participant will prepare a paper for presentation in a public symposium in the final week and for later publication.

Applications are welcomed from students of history, literature, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, philosophy and other humanistic and social 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.

Applications should be submitted by February 15, 2009. Notifications will be sent by March 15, 2009.

For application materials, write to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute by surface or email.

Summer Seminar on Joseph Smith, 200 WAIH, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602


Robert Cornwall said…
I can't get to this, but it might be an interesting conference.

As a Disciple (i.e. a Campbellite), it might be worthwhile pointing out that the Pratts, like Sidney Rigdon, started out as Campbellites before becoming followers of Joseph Smith. It seems that for Rigdon and some of his followers, Campbell wasn't enough of a Restorationist!

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