Mormons at Brigham Young University will be talking about apostasy later this week, but the discussion won't be about skinny jeans or gay rights.
Rather, the conference will explore the idea of "apostasy" throughout history, including Jewish, Muslim and Catholic and Protestant notions.
Mormons have, in fact, been talking about the notion of apostasy for more than 180 years. It is a "key" teaching of the faith since its inception, organizers says.
Founder Joseph Smith taught that true Christianity was lost after the death of the first apostles and needed to be restored to the Earth in 1830.
However, conference participants say, "the concept of apostasy has proven to be tremendously fluid, with individual, institutional, communal and historical meanings and applications all proliferating in religious thought throughout the ages."
Thus, the conference will feature discussions of the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, Jewish ideas about reformation and restoration, a comparison of Mormons and Arians, and a look at 16th-century ideas of apostasy.
The free conference is scheduled March 1-2 in BYU's Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium. The 15 speakers "hope to develop a richer understanding," organizers say, "of the definitions, connotations, social functions, and theological implications of Latter-day Saint conceptions of the apostasy."
Peggy Fletcher Stack
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