HIGHLIGHTS FROM UPCOMING PAPERS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE 2013 SUNSTONE SALT LAKE SYMPOSIUM, JULY 31-AUGUST 3, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH STUDENT UNION
SALT LAKE CITY (Mormon Newswire)
In the tradition of highlights from the Mormon History Association conference, Mormon Newswire is highlighting just a few particularly interesting and possibly groundbreaking papers, panels, and workshops to be presented at the 2013 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium.
Panel, “Why We Left–Psych!”
A compelling panel of ex/post Mormons discuss why and how they left Mormonism in order to devote their entire lives to Mormonism. Includes a special musical number featuring panelists beatboxing “God Be With You til We Meet Again.”
“Being John Dehlin”
A performative skit about a struggling Mormon, Billy Jones, who encounters a portal into the mind of John Dehlin and then begins charging $200 to let others use it. Eventually taking over Dehlin’s body through the portal into his mind, Billy induces Dehlin to write and produce a television show for local public television called “Daily Affirmation with John Dehlin,” which becomes an international success, eventually leading to a climactic battle between Dehlin’s brain and Billy’s machinations.**
**Features potential guest appearance by unnamed General Authority
“The Interpreter vs. Mormon Stories vs. Signature Books vs. FAIR”
Basically just an enormous mud fight in a freshly dug pit in Room 2437 of the Student Union. May or may not include a cage.
Workshop: Incorporating Mysticism, Wiccanism, Scientology, and Ancient Egyptian Funerary Rites into Mormonism
Practitioners of Mormonism(s) often fail to recognize how elastic and flexible their religion(s) is (are). In fact, Mormonism(s) is (are) capable of incorporating just about any loose coalition of beliefs into its (their) wider cosmology(ies). By way of example, we will explore how easy (and fun!) it is to make mysticism, Wiccanism, Scientology, and even Egyptian funerary practices an everyday part of what it means to be a Mormon. We will then see that with little effort we can even integrate Jediism, Fremenism, Scientism, Compatibilism, Reasonabilism, and a whole host of other -isms in ways that will make it look like they have always been a part of Mormonism(s).
“Why Can’t We Just Go to Church Naked?” by Lars Johnson
Abstract: Forget women wearing pants to church! This paper, to be presented entirely in the nude, explores the stifling prudishness of Mormon fashion norms with its insistence on some form of clothing in worship services and argues that contemporary mores have liberated us from oppressive patriarchal religio-cultural paradigms. Johnson argues that in order to truly be liberated from domineering and antiquated social norms, we must cast off the shackles of authoritarian despotism, which insists we wear clothes most of the time, not only when attending church but even in one’s own private life. Johnson suggests that a strong grass-roots movement begun by just a few individuals attending church completely naked has the potential to quickly spread like wildfire, prompting the Church to back away from insidious anti-nude policies that are relics of a bygone age.
“Kaimistone: An Inquiry,” By Nathan B. Roman and Kaimipono Wenger
Abstract: A fascinating investigation into Sunstone’s most prolific participant of all time, Kaimipono Wenger, this paper explores the methods and motivations behind the Sunstone virtuoso who participates in 5-9 Sunstone panels every year. I look at the remarkable intellectual arsenal and varied consonance instruments that Wenger employs in order to stave off the relentless cognitive dissonance that results from over-participation in Sunstone (also known as “getting Sunstoned).” I also explore detailed evidence that Wenger has access to something very like a Time-Turner in order to sometimes actually be simultaneously present on multiple concurrent panels.