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Church, State & Everything In Between at LDS Symposium This Week

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2012-07-24 -

With Mitt Romney bringing a political spotlight to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s no wonder the Mormon scholarship symposium put on this week by Sunstone is focused on “Mormons and Mormonism as Political Force.”

In an LDS Conference for the rest of us—Sunstone is hosting a weeklong symposium of independent LDS scholarship tackling topics from the “Mormon moment” to LDS feminists to the gospel approach to the health-care debate and a whole heckuva lot more. Pre-registration for the event has closed, but an opening night event Thursday is free and open to the public and day of tickets can be bought for individual sessions.

Professor Mark Silk presents the symposium’s free opening lecture Wednesday night on the LDS Church’s pivotal role in recent culture wars from Prop 8 to the Equal Rights Amendment and how this “restorationist” tack is buoying Republican politics.

Check it out free at the University of Utah, Union Olpin Ballroom, 200 S. Central Campus Drive, July 25 at 8 p.m.

Throughout Saturday, dozens of other sessions will be held on a variety of topics. Thursday, you can hear about how LDS scripture has condemned torture while Mormons were complicit in the Bush administration’s use of torture at Guantanamo Bay, or later that day, you can “Discover Your Mormon Shaman.” Friday, you won’t want to miss “The Vagina Testimonies” exploring LDS women’s takes on faith and sexuality, and a Saturday session will explore the impact of straight Mormons in advancing LGBT causes in the church and the secular world.

To see a full program and find out more about day of tickets to panels and banquets for the 2012 symposium, click here.

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