Education Week 2021

Date(s) - 08/18/2021 - 08/20/2021
11:10 am - 12:05 pm


Finding Christ in the Humanities

11:10 AM — 12:05 PM (222 MARB)

Wednesday: “Caravaggio’s Art: Finding Christ in the World” – Dr. Matt Ancell

This class is an introduction to the painting of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). By focusing on some of his religious scenes, we will discuss how Christ interacts with humanity, and how we can respond faithfully to the challenges of a deceptive world.

Thursday: “Finding Christ in Unexpected Places: Insights from Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism” – Dr. Francesca Lawson

Do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints need to know about other religions? This class makes the case that we can worship with greater faith and a deeper respect for other people when we see some of the parallels and insights from other faith traditions. By considering the premortal council in the Ramayana, the path to Buddha’s enlightenment, the dichotomy between grace and works in some sects of Buddhism, the importance of listening in Daoism, and the implicit references to the Spirit of Elijah in one of the great monuments of Confucianism, we find fascinating parallels to doctrines and practices in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The class encourages us to find Christ and discover subtle references to His gospel in new and unexpected places.

Friday: “Finding Christ in Modern Poetry” – Dr. Matthew Wickman

Poetry is an art form defined by textual nuance, and becoming familiar with how to read poetry can make us better readers of all texts, including scripture. What is more, there are some beautiful poems about Christ in modern poetry – poetry that is technically dazzling and faith-promoting. My session at Education Week will bring attention to some of these modern poems, exploring with our attendees their subtleties of language and tone, sound and structure. I will focus in particular on work from three poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Denise Levertov, and R. S. Thomas.

Lifelong Reading: 5 Best…

11:10 AM — 12:05 PM (W-111 BNSN)

Wednesday: “5 Best Fairy-Tale Anthologies, As Seen on TV” – Dr. Jill Terry Rudy

The purpose of this class is threefold: 1) to help participants ponder how the stories that we take into our lives matter; 2) to help them recognize the usefulness, and problems, of anthologies as curated collections of fairy tales and other literature; 3) and to encourage participants to realize that fairy-tale anthology shows are all about how people treat each other. Fairy-tale anthologies are good to think with because the healthy social relations in fairy tales are bound up with characters’ pursuing individual and collective happiness—often by navigating anti-social behaviors involving greed, fear, and selfishness. First, we review printed fairy-tale collections that include “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Sleeping Beauty” in versions gathered by Basile, Perrault, and the Grimms. Next, we focus on televised fairy-tale anthologies, drawing attention to techniques that are rare or impossible in oral or print storytelling: off-screen narrators, musical scores, and characters speaking their own dialogue. Fairy tales on television often share the world’s most wonderful stories by grouping them in exquisite anthologies.

Thursday: “Five (or More!) Iconic Utah Foods and Their Historical, Cultural, and Religious Significance” – Dr. Eric A. Eliason

Traditional foods and regional identity are closely linked. Fried catfish, grits, and collard greens are familiar fare across the American South. New York City and Chicago each have distinctive pizza and hot dog styles. Louisiana and New Mexico both have recognized statewide cuisines of many inter-related dishes. Utah stands out neither for any cities with iconic food items nor an integrated state cuisine. Rather, we have several statewide famous food items, such as fry sauce, Jell-O desserts, and funeral potatoes. Several other traditional Utah foods are just as distinctive but perhaps less well known. This session will discuss the history and cultural significance of these foods and their relationship to the story of Utah and present evidence suggesting reasons why Utah seems to have so many identity-defining foods.

Friday: “Hidden Treasures of Knowledge: 5 Life-Changing Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen You’ve Never Heard Of “– Dr. Julie K. Allen

The Danish author Hans Christian Andersen wrote more than 213 fairy tales, but only a scant handful of them—such as The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Snow Queen—are well known in the United States today, primarily through animated films aimed at children. In order to help us better appreciate the amazing world-building, wit, and deep spiritual insights in Andersen’s ouevre, this class explores five of his lesser-known tales, looking at them both in their historical context and in terms of how they might resonate with present-day adult LDS readers and provide access to “wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19). In these powerful tales, Andersen helps his readers rediscover wonder, stand for the right, deal with suffering and grief, and affirm their faith in the inclusiveness of God’s love.

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