2023 SSSR + RRA Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City Utah

The annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) and the Religious Research Association (RRA) will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 20-22, 2023. During the event, the MSSA will host numerous sessions devoted to Mormon Studies. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Senior Religion Reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack will deliver our biennial Glenn M. Vernon Lecture.

We look forward to welcoming you to Utah!

Explore the full SSSR+RRA preliminary program.

Mormon Social Science Association Program

Friday, October 20th

1: 10 – 2:40 PM | Session C-9 SSSR – Mormonism and Disaffiliation

  • Mormonism In Extremis: Threats Along the Covenant Path
  • Beyond disenchantment and disaffiliation: Meaning-making for women after Mormonism
  • Garments and the Construction of Mormon Bodies

2:50 – 4:20 PM | Session D-10 SSSR Far-Right Conservative Mormonism in the United States

  • This is Not an Official Site”: Theological Speculation and Discussion on the LDS Freedom Forum
  • Navigating Boundaries in Mormon Spaces on Far-Right Social Media
  • Far-Right Sympathies Among US Mormons: Demographic and Ideological Factors That Predict Support for DezNat and Christian Nationalism
  • Fissures, Factions, and Fault Lines? Death Penalty Support among Latter-day Saints Reconsidered

5:00 PM | Salt Lake City Cemetery Tour – with historian Matthew Bowman. Spaces are limited; MSSA members and guests should RSVP as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 21st

9:00 – 10:30 AM | Session E-2 SSSR – Glenn M. Vernon Lecture by Peggy Fletcher Stack

  • Covering an Evolving Mormonism: A Journalist’s Barometer of Prophets, Problems, and Progress

10:40 – 12:10 | Session F-6 SSSR – On the Genesis of the Sociology of Mormonism and the University of Utah

  • Panel discussion

10:40 – 12:10 | Session F-11 SSSR – Latter-day Saint Self-Reliance and Social Justice

  • The Self-Reliance Initiative: A Method of Revelatory Liberal Capitalism
  • How Mormons Are Building Zion Among the Poor Worldwide: Sustainable Grassroots Strategies with Social Impacts
  • The LDS Self-Reliance Initiative in Peru and Utah

12:15 | MSSA Business Meeting and pizza lunch – room TBA, all members welcome

6:00 | Informal MSSA dinner – details to be announced during the business meeting, all members welcome

Sunday, October 22nd

9:00 – 10:30 | Session I-1 SSSR: Envisioning Empowerment and Oppression

  • Neophytes and Lamanites: Handsome Lake and the Book of Mormon
  • Joseph’s Adventures in Dream Land: utilizing psychobiology and ascription theory to explore visionary experiences and their contested narrative descriptions
  • Oh! slavery how I hate thee!’: Perspectives of European Latter-day Saint emigrants on American slavery

9:00 – 10:30 | Session I-10 SSSR – Latter-day Saint Sexual Minorities: When Is Religion Helpful? When Is It Harmful? How Does It Work?

  • The Various Ways Being Latter-day Saint Relates to Health for Sexual Minorities
  • How Religiousness Promotes (and Does not Promote) Flourishing among Latter-day Saint Sexual Minorities
  • Establishing the Temporal Relationship Between Religious Commitment, Sexual Identity Struggles, and Religious Struggles Among Sexual Minority Latter-day Saints

2023 Glenn M. Vernon Lecture: Peggy Fletcher Stack

This year, the Glenn M. Vernon Lecture will be given by award-winning journalist Peggy Fletcher Stack, who will reflect on over 30 years of covering Mormonism for the Salt Lake Tribune. Stack has received a lifetime achievement award from the Religion Newswriters Association as well as many other awards for specific news stories. She is the interim executive director of the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ), author of the book “A World of Faiths,” and co-host of the Salt Lake Tribune’s popular “Mormon Land” podcast.

About the Vernon Lectures

Every two years, the association invites a distinguished thinker in Mormon Studies to present the Glenn M. Vernon Lecture. The lecture honors the legacy of Glenn M. Vernon, a pioneer in Mormon studies, and the first president of the Society for the Sociological Study of Mormon Life, which later became MSSA. It is intended to be an original contribution to the study of Mormon life and an edited version of the lecture is stored in the MSSA archive.

Join the MSSA

As an interdisciplinary and international association, the MSSA promotes the social scientific study of Mormonism and facilitates communication and collaboration among researchers, educators and students. Membership is open to all. We sponsor scholarly conferences, publications, panel discussions, paper sessions,  and the biennial Glenn M. Vernon Lecture. Join us today.

Give to the MSSA

The Armand Mauss Founders’ Fund supports the costs of the Vernon Lecture, honoraria for other invited speakers, student paper awards, student travel assistance, MSSA sponsored publications and other organizational expenses deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.

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