Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology 2010: Early Mormon Theology

Joseph Smith Summer Seminar 2010: Early Mormon Theology

I am a participant in the 2010 Summer Seminar at the Maxwell Institute. Several other more notable bloggers are involved in the program including Blair Hodges from Life On Gold Plates and Elizabeth and Jared from Juvenile Instructor. I am a bit behind in starting to blog about the seminar, but I certainly plan on sharing insights from the experience over the next few weeks.

It’s thus far been a real pleasure to be able to meet so many more experienced and extraordinarily talented Mormon Scholars. I am humbled by their knowledge of the bibliographical works and their expertise. I have been especially inspired as I’ve been able to listen to Terryl Givens and soak up his remarkable insights.

The chief theme that has impressed itself upon me this past week is how exciting the field of Mormon Studies is today. I don’t think I grasped the full breadth of high quality works being picked up by large scale publishing companies such as Oxford Press. Our seminar meets at the Maxwell Institute and so I’ve been exposed to the breadth of their publications as well. We visited the Church History Library this week and I was also amazed by the dedication to scholarship that I saw there.

I feel overwhelmed as a contemplate making my own tentative first contributions of the field.  I am between a couple of prospective topics at the moment for the symposium that will be in Provo on July 8th: I may either write about the concept of providential history versus agency, theodicy and explanations for suffering or on the concept of certainty and revelatory truth versus fact based intellectual knowledge in the early church.

Any guidance or insights on any of these topics would of course be immensely appreciated.

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