To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Brigham Young University’s BYU Studies will be hosting a symposium Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.
The theme, which captures the mission statement of BYU Studies, is drawn from Doctrine and Covenants 88, “Of Things Both in Heaven and in the Earth.” The event is free and open to the public. A preliminary schedule is available at byustudies.byu.edu.
BYU Studies is a quarterly journal that publishes articles from a Latter-day Saint perspective along with book reviews, personal essays and poetry.
The three keynote speakers are Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, professor of Church history and doctrine and publications director of the Religious Studies Center at BYU; Van C. Gessel, professor of Japanese and former dean of the College of Humanities at BYU; and George S. Tate, professor of humanities and comparative literature and former dean of Undergraduate Education at BYU.
Holzapfel will share new discoveries about Wilford Woodruff’s 1897 recorded testimony concerning Joseph Smith and the succession in the Church presidency. Gessel will examine the challenges of introducing Christian vocabulary into non-Christian cultures. Tate will give a behind-the-scenes look at his work on the 1918 influenza pandemic and the 1918 revelation that became Doctrine and Covenants 138, which was recently published in BYU Studies and the Ensign.
Some of the topics of concurrent sessions include symbols and structures in scripture, sustaining life on Earth, sin and restoration, establishment of the Church, temples, women in Mormonism and Church education.
“Everyone who attends this celebration will be well-rewarded,” said BYU Studies Editor-in-Chief John W. Welch. “The speakers will cover a wide variety of topics, so there should be something for everyone. People will have the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals who enjoy exploring various topics along with several BYU Studies authors. This symposium will help involve readers in the academic experience.”
Three sessions and four blocks of concurrent sessions, from 9 a.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Saturday, will feature more than 50 presenters. Another session, scheduled for Friday afternoon, will highlight recent research from a variety of disciplines. A special pre-symposium event the evening of March 10 will honor BYU emeriti professors Hugh Nibley and Clinton Larsen. Participants can attend single sessions or the entire symposium.
For more information, contact Heather Seferovich at (801) 422-7436.
Writer: Brandon Garrett