2016 Second Interpreter Science & Mormonism Symposium: Body, Brain, Mind, and Spirit

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Science and Mormonism have nearly always been on very friendly terms, with Church members sharing the deep conviction that, as expressed by former scientist and apostle Elder James E. Talmage, “within the gospel of Jesus Christ there is room and place for every truth thus far learned by man, or yet to be made known.” Subsequent Presidents and General Authorities of the Church have advanced similar views about the ultimate compatibility of religious and scientific truths and, with notably few exceptions, have maintained markedly positive attitudes toward both the methods and conclusions of mainstream science and the advance of modern technology.

The First Interpreter Science and Mormonism Symposium was held on November 9, 2013 with a focus on the topics of Cosmos, Earth, and Man (http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/events/2013-symposium-science-mormonism-cosmos-earth-man/). An expanded proceedings of this event will be published in March as Cosmos, Earth, and Man. Science and Mormonism 1 (Orem and Salt Lake City: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2016).

This second symposium will feature the personal perspectives of prominent scientists and scholars addressing the theme of “Body, Brain, Mind, and Spirit.” Speakers include Brother Guy Consolmagno, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Samuel M. Brown, James E. Faulconer, Brant A. Gardner, Ugo A. Perego, Daniel C. Peterson, Jani Radebaugh, Stephen H. Webb (note on his recent passing), and Camille Stilson Williams. Through presentations, panels, and interactive discussions, attendees will hear concise and colorful summaries of the state-of-the-art in research relating to these topics and will gain a deeper appreciation of the unique contributions of LDS doctrine to the ongoing conversation.

Date: March 12, 2016
Time: 8:30am – 3:30pm
Program & Schedule: Click here for full program and schedule of events
Place: Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. Classroom Building, room 101. Click here for more location information.
Free and open to the public
Watch for additional details on www.mormoninterpreter.com
Printable PDF 2-page Flyer
Poster PDF

Videos of the presentation are now available for free viewing.

There will be a no-host dinner at Brick Oven Restaurant in Provo (111 E 800 N, Provo, UT 84606, http://www.brickovenrestaurants.com) following the Symposium at 5:00pm. This will be an opportunity for students and others to mingle with some of the speakers in an informal setting. Space is limited, so advance sign-up at the Symposium is required.

The Interpreter Foundation
Utah Valley University
BYU Studies

With special thanks to the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Presenters and Discussants include:
(Click here for full bios, or on a link below.)

  • Brother Guy Consolmagno
    Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation
  • Jeffrey M. Bradshaw
    Senior Research Scientist, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)
  • Samuel M. Brown
    Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Medicine and Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah/Intermountain Medical Center
  • James E. Faulconer
    Richard L. Evans Professor of Philosophy, Brigham Young University
  • Brant A. Gardner
    Independent Scholar on the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerican studies
  • Ugo A. Perego
    Director of the Rome LDS Institute Campus and Visiting Scientist, University of Perugia
  • Daniel C. Peterson
    Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic, Brigham Young University
  • Jani Radebaugh
    Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Brigham Young University
  • Stephen H. Webb (note on his recent passing)
    Catholic theologian, author, and First Things columnist
  • Camille Stilson Williams
    Independent Scholar and former Administrative Director of the Marriage and Family Law Research Project at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University

There will also be a reception and presentation by Brother Guy Consolmagno on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah, from 2-4pm. It is free and open to the public. Click here for a flyer of the event.

Brother Guy Consolmagno will also deliver BYU’s Summerhays lecture on March 10, 2016, at 6:30pm in the Joseph Smith Building auditorium on BYU campus. Click here for more information about this event.

Click here for a detailed summary of all of the events. Here is a short article noting the three events.

9 thoughts on “2016 Second Interpreter Science & Mormonism Symposium: Body, Brain, Mind, and Spirit

  1. The first conference in this series was a remarkable event. And this one should match the high standard set by that earlier conference. In addition, the informal socializing that takes place at these gatherings is part of what is so very attractive about the endeavors of the Interpreter Foundation. This kind of service to the Saints has now replaced the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (now known as the Neal A. Maxwell Institute) in providing these services to the Saints, including both those with or without academic credentials or pretensions, but with a desire for further light and knowledge about both divine and human things. I cannot resist pointing out that Book of Mormon Central has revived and improved on the efforts of FARMS to make sound, serious scholarship available to the Saints. This can be contrasted with the strange idea that tithing money should be used, instead, to gain the approval of non-LDS professional historians.
    One can wonder about those who proclaim, as was recently set out in an “Introduction” to a series of essays in the Journal of Mormon History, that “of course, ‘the public’ is not exactly, or at least not directly, the scholar’s intended audience.” This kind of unseemly snobbery can be contrasted with efforts to involve and enlighten faithful Saints generally, rather than advance some ideological fad or fashion among a presumed academic elite..

  2. This looks like an excellent program. The only thing that would make it better (for me) would be William Hamblin talking about alchemy or something related. Such a perfect fit — sure you can’t squeeze him in at the last minute?

  3. The previous symposium was recorded on video and is viewable online. I hope that this will happen quickly with this new symposium, not only for the many who cannot make it that day, or who are crowded out of the meeting hall, but also for the many LDS supporters of Mormon Interpreter who live outside Utah, like me.

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