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Call for Papers: International Conference on Mormonism

Conference Topic: The evolution of Mormonism from sect to Church and from Church to sects
Université de Bordeaux 3
6 et 7 décembre 2012
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine

Organized par Bernadette RIGAL-CELLARD with the Master Religions et Sociétés and CLIMAS (EA 4196), Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3

The 2012 Mormonism conference is the sequel to the first French conference on Mormonism (Bordeaux 2009). It will address the issues arising from its institutional evolution.  The currently admitted typology of religious groups includes, sketchily,
the cult, the sect, the denomination, the Church, the movement. All groups will not necessarily move from one level to the next and a number of them may stagnate, willingly or not, or simply disappear. It is the prophetic and organizational qualities of the founder(s) and of the successors that dictate the evolution of the group as much as the social and political surroundings.

Mormonism is one of the most interesting religions to study in this regard for, since its birth in 1830, it has operated constant changes that led its major institution, the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter Day Saints, to move from the status of “sect”—in the sense of a group separating itself from a major tradition to follow a radical prophet—to that of denomination, and then to reach the crowning status of Church, at least in its native land.

If the general history of Mormonism is relatively well documented, it is not the case concerning all the steps it has climbed in less than two centuries, when most of its competitors, born in the same conditions, have not succeeded as well. How has Mormonism gone from the complete separatism of its early decades to an almost complete acceptance at home and in several foreign countries?

Send a 20 line abstract and a short biography before September 15th, 2012 to bcellard@numericable.fr
No funding can be granted to participants