Sunstone – Reflecting on Maturing Faith

Sunstone Theological Symposium

August 4-7, 2010, Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel, 150 West 500 South

Sunstone 2010The central question at this year’s Sunstone Symposium will be: What is mature faith? Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 4, John Kesler, an associate of the famous stage theorist Ken Wilber, will teach a class on meditation. In another class, Brent Corcoran will teach Yoga. Susan Skoor, an apostle in the Community of Christ, and graduate student John Dehlin, will conduct workshops on navigating a crisis of faith. Phyllis Barber will teach a class on writing a personal memoir.

That evening, Jan Shipps, Emeritus Professor of History and Religious Studies at Purdue University, will speak on “The Fate of New Religious Movements When They Are No Longer New.” And so will end the day of workshops and the Smith-Pettit Lecture, preliminary to the devotionals and concurrent lectures that comprise the itinerary for the next three days, during which attendees will be treated to meditations and research papers on faith (in crisis or otherwise), women’s issues, scriptural narratives, and how to write about Mormon topics in a way that is honest but not sensational.

There will also notably be a generous contribution of papers by members and leaders of mid-Western Mormon Churches, including a significant representation from the Community of Christ. For instance, Paul Savage, an apostle of the Church of Christ Elijah Mission (a Church that was once affiliated with the Church of Christ Temple Lot), will speak on “Why Elijah Must Come before Christ’s Return.”

Some specific sessions of interest will be a panel led by Dr. Philip Barlow of Utah State University on the rise, development, and disintegration of several Mormon fundamentalist communities; Dr. Trent Stephens of Idaho State University on the details of the 1956 handcart disaster; Dr. Margaret Toscano of the University of Utah and her husband, Paul, on the twentieth anniversary of Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology; graduate student Don Bradley on Joseph Smith “dating” sixteen-year-old Fanny Alger; Dr. Rick Phillips of the University of North Florida on current Mormon demographics (why they’re “collapsing” so many missions); and Dr. Robert Rees of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley on the high cost of discipleship (Rees will also speak on Proposition 8 and on Mormon lightning rod Glenn Beck).

 For more information, see the Sunstone Foundation online site.