Education Week 2016 — Humanities & Belief

Date(s) - 08/16/2016 - 08/19/2016
1:50 pm - 2:45 pm

222 MARB


The Humanities Center will sponsor three tracks at BYU’s Education Week this year. The classes will feature BYU faculty from the College of Humanities and highlight various topics. Please join us August 16 – 19, 2016 @ 1:50 PM in room 250 SWKT.

Humanities & Belief

Tuesday — John Rosenberg; “The Human Conversation:  Learning to Talk Through Difference”

John-RosenbergNews used to be almost entirely local; now it is global. Still, we tend to think and express ourselves as members of our tribes, in spite of the commandment to “become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues and people” (D&C 90.15). This session will be a conversation, (not a presentation) that will invoke the different voices (past, present, familiar, foreign, scientific and poetic) that comprise the great conversation of mankind.

Wednesday — Cecilia Peek; “For Now We See Through a Glass, Darkly”: The Corrective Lens of Literature and Art

Cecilia_PeekThis session aims to establish the value of the study of humanities in our personal journey of faith. This will be done in two steps. First, we will define what was meant by the study of humanities (studia humanitatis) anciently and try to understand why that course of study was considered the best preparation for life. Second, we will apply that thinking to the Christian life and ask why it is worthwhile for the believing Latter-Day Saint to live a life that includes the study of the humanities, looking at how experience with great literature and great art can actually make us better, more charitable people, who can see others and the world as the Lord sees them.

Thursday — James Faulconer; “How Questions Can Enhance Our Lives: Faith – Philosophy”

james-faulconer2This session considers the role that questions have in religious faith and in philosophy and shows how each can influence the other positively. Questions are often associated with a failure of faith or the pointlessness of philosophical speculation, but this session will show how questions can be fruitful. In particular, it will show how the questions of faith can open new areas of thought for philosophers and how the questions of philosophy can renew the insights of religious faith.

Friday — George Handley; “Faith and the Imagination: Lessons from the Humanities for Latter-day Saints”

handley, georgeThis presentation will explore both the role of the imagination in the development of our faith and the role of faith in the development of our imagination. Whether in our dreams, in our moments of stillness and boredom, while reading a novel or the scriptures, or in moments of artistic creativity, our minds are constantly active, reorganizing the material and experiences of our lives and seeking to imagine them in different ways and from different perspectives. We do this work of imagining well at times and at others very poorly. Faith, service, and love are all impoverished without an active and charitable imagination that can help us to act with creativity, compassion, and thoughtfulness and that can reinforce our agency and autonomy. Of course, our imagination can also act as a shield that blocks our connection to God and to others as it hinders our ability to experience life, perceive reality, or truly listen to others. The relationship between faith and the imagination are two themes that we find in many writings in the humanities and that resonate as well with doctrinal principles in the restored gospel. This presentation will explore how the artistic expressions and intellectual work of others, coupled with faithful discipleship to God’s commandments, can help us cultivate the kind of imagination that will make us a more powerful instrument in the hands of the Lord.


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