The 2006 Annual Meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosopy and Theology will be held March 17-18th at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference program now appears on the web, with further details on the location, parking, etc. The conference is free and open to the public.
Stephen T. Davis, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, will deliver the keynote address at 7pm Friday March 17th. Professor Davis will be responding to recent Mormon writings on the nature of God. Blake Ostler and Daniel C. Peterson will speak that afternoon from 3:30-5pm on the nature of God, and then will rejoin Stephen Davis for a roundtable discussion, including questions and comments from the audience, after the keynote address.
This portion of the conference is designed to draw on a substantial correspondence in recent years between Davis, Ostler, and David L. Paulsen. Davis has done influential work on social conceptions of the trinity, from a traditional Christian perspective. Many traditional Christians regard Mormons as trithesits, but Paulsen, Ostler and Peterson have argued that the Mormon view is in fact monotheistic, and that the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is comparable to social views of the trinity held by many traditional Christians, including Davis. Hence the precise nature of the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in traditional and Mormon theology will be a major theme of the discussion. However, some interpretations of Mormon theology are closer to traditional Christian views than others, and these differences are likely to play a role as well, such as the question of whether God was always God, and what sort of unity with God we mortals can eventually attain.