“Mormonism and Science:
Intersections, Conflicts, Syntheses”
Brigham Young University
July 2–August 8, 2018
In the summer of 2018, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation, will sponsor a summer seminar on the topic, “Mormonism and Science: Intersections, Conflicts, Syntheses.”
Is the all-encompassing ambition of the Mormon project, to circumscribe all truth in one great whole, consistent with the “two magisteria” hypothesis—that science and religion inhabit different spheres of epistemic and ethical concern and influence? What intersections, conflicts, and theological syntheses has Mormonism found with scientific thought? What suspicions has Mormonism harbored about science that have proven unnecessary or detrimental? What suspicions remain appropriate? What recent developments are of particular interest to the Mormon mind? How well has Mormonism navigated between the Charybdis of fundamentalist fears and the Scylla of precipitous and naive extrapolations, when it comes to our stance vis a vis the scientific world? Has Mormonism informed the world-view, questions pursued, or the scientific accomplishments of any Latter-day Saint scientists?
We encourage students and scholars interested in the above and related questions to apply for the 2018 Summer Seminar. The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from July 2 to August 8, 2018. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3,000 in addition to a housing accommodation subsidy if needed. International participants will also receive some transportation assistance, the amount to be determined by availability of funding. (We hope to cover most airfares for international participants.) Especially welcome are graduate students in the sciences (broadly construed), religious studies, early-career CES educators, and international students.
The seminar continues the series of seminars on Mormon culture begun in the summer of 1997 with Richard Bushman. This iteration will be co-directed by Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion and James A. Bostwick Chair of English at the University of Richmond, and Steven L. Peck, associate professor of biology at Brigham Young University and author of Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist.
Each participant will be asked to prepare a paper on some aspect of this general subject area for presentation in a public symposium to be held during the seminar’s final week.
Important note: Because spaces are limited, and generous funding is provided, participants must be willing to devote full time to the seminar during its six weeks. The group will generally meet together two hours a day, Monday through Thursday. The rest of the time will be spent in independent research and writing.
Applications must include (1) a completed application form, (2) a writing sample, such as a course paper or alternately a list of publications, and (3) an essay (one to two pages) explaining your interest in the fellowship program. Please include how your training and background relate to Mormon studies, and how you believe the seminar can benefit you. Also indicate if (a) you have applied previously and (b) attended a previous seminar.
Applications must be received by Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by March 15, 2018.