PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Mormon Studies Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit will examine the range of topics, disciplines, and methodologies that can be brought into dialogue with Mormonism as studied in an academic environment. It is interested in exploring strategies for teaching about Mormonism, both as the main focus of a class or as a unit within a survey course. It seeks to identify the best resources available for teaching and understanding the tradition and provide encouragement for scholars to fill gaps in what is currently available. The Unit encourages significant comparative studies and interdisciplinary cross-fertilization and hopes to explore intersections between Mormonism and ethics, theology, philosophy, ecclesiology, missiology, spirituality, arts and literature, sociology, scripture, and liberation studies.

Call for Papers: 

The Mormon Studies unit seeks proposals for full sessions or individual papers that consider any aspect of Mormon experience using the methods of critical theory, philosophy, theology, history, sociology, or psychology. This includes the use of Mormonism as a case study for informing larger questions in any of these disciplines and, thus, only indirectly related to the Mormon experience.

• The Bible in Racial, Ethnic, and Indigenous Communities (BREIC) Unit and the Afro-American Religious History Unit will co-sponsor one session with the Mormon Studies Unit. The units are collectively interested in papers that connect to the fortieth anniversary of the 1978 “Official Declaration 2,” when Spencer W. Kimball extended the priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the LDS Church. Topics might include African American religious history, post-colonialism and globalization, Black or womanist theology, scriptural interpretation of race, or responses to the Declaration by non-LDS communities. We also especially seek papers that address the role and history of Latter-day Saint movements in Native communities; the LDS theology of Native peoples and responses within Native communities to the same; and historical opposition to the Indian Child Welfare Act. BREIC also solicits papers for an open session focusing on biblical engagement by individuals and / or institutions within racial, ethnic, or indigenous communities. Of particular interest are essays and presentations exploring water and land rights; religious identity; migration; social settings, both marginal and mainstream; texts; and hermeneutical strategies, particularly those of an esoteric nature. In addition, we are looking to develop an experimental session that might go beyond the standard “read aloud paper” session."

• Topics in Religion and Race in North American and Transnational Perspectives
Religion, racialization/racism, religion and anti-racist organizing in historical and contemporary perspectives. Co-sponsorship with the Mormon Studies Unit and the North American Religions Unit.

• Topics in religion and queer studies/theory that address the study of Mormonism. For a potential co-sponsorship with the Mormon Studies Unit and the Queer Studies in Religion Unit.

Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times
ChairSteering Committee