That theme is addressed from many different angles in The Future of Mormonism series at Patheos. It might be the best online event on Mormonism I’ve seen, with contributors drawn from across the Mormon spectrum. Here are a few highlights.
Mormonism in the New Century by Armand Mauss — Mauss sees the retrenchment-assimilation pendulum swinging back toward assimilation as the Church moves into the 21st century. He lists several signs of this “new posture of diplomatic outreach by the church leadership.”
Mormon Publishing, the Internet, and the Democratization of Information by Kristine Haglund — Dialogue’s editor weighs in on “the challenges facing Mormon publishing.” Like blogs, which Haglund rather coyly describes as showing “that people really like to hear themselves talk.” I like her suggestion that the bottom-up efforts of independent journals and blogs may help Mormonism develop a “framework for engaging the ever-broadening discourse about Mormonism in the new media world.”
Partnering with our Friends from Other Faiths by Elder Quentin L. Cook — And it came to pass in the year 2010 the people beheld the first apostolic blog post. Elder Cook sounds an interfaith message, endorsing “a mutual respect for each other’s beliefs and a desire to collaborate on important issues where we find common ground.” He closes with his own hopeful view of what the future holds for us: “The future of Mormonism in the public sphere will, in part, be a shared one as we work with other like-minded faiths to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ in reaching out to our fellow citizens.”
There were a dozen other posts, including entries by heavyweights like Grant Hardy, Philip Barlow, and Steve Evans. Kudos to Patheos for hosting such a fine collection of commentaries.