Heaven & Earth

Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith

February 22nd - 23rd, 2018
Classroom Building, Room 511
Utah Valley University

click here for a pdf version of the program 


The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.


Keynote Speaker

  • Molly Worthen
    Assistant Professor of History
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism

Eugene England Lecture

  • Steven L. Peck
    Associate Professor of Biology
    Brigham Young University
    author of Science the Key to Theology

Conference Participants

  • Philip L. Barlow
    Leonard J. Arrington Chair in Mormon Studies & Culture
    Utah State University
    author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of Latter-day Saints in American Religion

  • Brian D. Birch 
    Brian D. Birch, Director, Religious Studies Program
    Utah Valley University
    series co-editor, Perspectives on Mormon Theology

  • David Bokovoy
    Online Professor of Bible and Jewish Studies
    Utah State University
    author of Reading the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy 

  • Matthew Bowman
    Matthew Bowman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    Henderson State University
    author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith

  • Deidre Nicole Green
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
    author of "Becoming Equal Partners: Latter-day Saint Women as Theologians”

  • Jamie L. Jensen
    Associate Professor of Biology, Brigham Young University, author of “Influencing highly religious undergraduate perceptions of evolution:  Mormons as a case study” 

  • Boyd Jay Petersen
    Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies
    Utah Valley University
    author of “One Soul Shall Not Be Lost': The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought" 
  • Jana K. Riess
    Senior Columnist
    Religion News Service
    author of The Next Mormons

  • David W. Scott
    Professor of Communication
    Utah Valley University
    author of “Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?"
  • Ben Spackman
    History of Christianity & Religions of North America Program
    Claremont Graduate University
    author of “Truth, Scripture, and Interpretation: Some Precursors to Reading Genesis”


Co-Sponsors & Partners

  • Religious Studies Program, Utah Valley University
  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Utah Valley University 

for more information, contact Brian Birch at brian.birch@uvu.edu or 
Boyd Petersen at boyd.petersen@uvu.edu