Readers who live in the Phoenix area may be interested to know that a number of Mormon Studies scholars, including a couple contributors to this blog, will be presenting this weekend at the annual conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. If you’re interested, come join us at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. The full program can be read here. Pre-registration is unfortunately over, but it’s still possible to register at the door.
The two Worlds Without End contributors who will be presenting at the conference are myself and Elizabeth Mott. Also on our panel is Jacob Baker of By Common Consent, though unfortunately he won’t be able to attend, so his paper will be read by proxy. Strangely, our panel of distinguished Mormonists won’t be presenting on Mormonism at all. Our topic is “Americans’ Perceptions of Islam in the Post-9/11 Era.” Catch us in Suite 314 on Saturday at 8 AM.
Among the several other panels of interest to students of Mormonism is one titled “Similarities and Differences in National Data on Mormons.” This session compares data on Mormons in several national surveys, including the GSS, ARIS, and Pew. Organized by Ryan Cragun, presenters include Rick Phillips of Florida, Gregory Smith of Pew, and several professors from BYU. Find them in Borein B at 8 AM on Friday.
The next Mormon session starts on Friday at 9:45 in room Russell A. Organized by UVU’s David Knowlton, it looks at Mormon moral theory, perfectionism, and depression among LDS women. Presenters include Steven Clark, Cameron R. John, and Kris Doty, all from UVU.
Scheduled for Friday afternoon are two great Mormon panels which include renowned historians of Mormonism Jan Shipps and Armand Mauss. The first, at 1:00 in Curtis B, is on “The Development of a Mormon Intellectual Community after World War II.” Shipps will present on ”Mormon Intellectuals in the 1960s,” with Mauss as respondent. The second, at 2:45 in Suite 316, is an “Author Meets Critics” panel on Mauss’s new memoir, Shifting Borders and A Tattered Passport: Intellectual Journeys of a Mormon Academic. In addition to Shipps, the panel will include Florida’s Rick Phillips and Gordon Shepherd of Arkansas.
The last of the Mormon panels will be Saturday morning at 9:45 in Russell B. Titled “Varied Perspectives on Mormonism,” it’s an interesting collection of papers on topics such as Mormon volunteerism and gendered resistance and compliance in the LDS Church. The most intriguing title, in my view, is Hui-Tzu Grace Chou’s “Effect of Birth Order on Individuals’ Image of God.” Not sure where she’ll go with that one, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
For those of you who don’t live in the area or can’t afford to attend, watch this space; I may blog some highlights after the conference.