Date(s) - 08/18/2015 - 08/21/2015
1:50 pm - 2:45 pm
Tuesday: Reading the Bible Better than the Best Book You Have Ever Read
Presenter: Steven C. Walker, Professor of English Emeritus, BYU
The Bible may be the best book we’ve never really read. We read it as a Sunday School manual, but reading scripture that same old conventional way makes the good news of the Gospel never really news, never actually new. The miracles come to be mundane, the prophecies predictable, the parables, rather than revelatory, routine. In this session we’ll try reading the Bible a new way, the way it’s actually written: as literature.
Wednesday: The Spiritual and Intellectual Rewards of Including Philosophy in Lifelong Reading
Presenter: Travis T. Anderson, Chair, Department of Philosophy, BYU
What is philosophy, why are some believers skeptical about its merits, and what have modern prophets and church leaders said about it? This presentation will first review counsel and comments by LDS church leaders regarding the importance of studying philosophy. It will then examine concrete examples of how a lifelong commitment to reading philosophy can improve our well-being, facilitate the discovery and application of spiritual truths, help us make sense of life’s challenges, and enhance our testimony, our intellectual life, and our understanding of both literature and scripture.
Thursday: Kindling Reading through E-Readers and Social Media
Presenter: Gideon O. Burton, Assistant Professor of English, BYU
Seeking wisdom “out of the best books” (D&C 88:118) today increasingly involves the use of ebooks and e-readers. Devices like Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iPad, as well as the smartphones increasingly used by all, provide new ways of reading. While reading and book culture increasingly compete with various entertainment media and gadgetry, reading in digital formats offers new opportunities to connect with the best books as well as to communities of enthusiastic readers.
Friday: “By Small and Simple Things”: The Transformative Power of Children’s Literature for Adults
Presenter: Cherice Montgomery, Assistant Professor of Spanish Pedagogy, BYU
Storytelling is a uniquely human activity with the capacity to touch the spirit and transform the soul. In this interactive session, participants will examine why stories captivate us, how they connect us, and the ways in which they challenge us to change. We will then explore concrete examples of how illustrated children’s literature can help address concerns common to adult life including death, depression, forgiveness, personal and professional identity, relationships and self-esteem. The session will conclude with a discussion of criteria for evaluating the quality and transformative potential of children’s books by international authors.