The eleventh annual UVU Mormon Studies Conference will engage in a comparative exploration of Islam and Mormonism. Scholars and practitioners will reflect on points of connection and contrast between two traditions that face challenges related to public awareness and social inclusion. This two-day event will explore a variety of issues for Mormons and Muslims including 1) religious freedom and public perception, 2) mutual goals and cooperative endeavors, 3) areas of theological connection and divergence, and 4) efforts at dialogue and bridge-building.
Within a year of the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, detractors of Mormonism began to compare this new religious movement to Islam. Referring to Joseph Smith as “the modern Mahomet,” these early comparisons reflected religious prejudices of the day and were intended to marginalize Mormons and Muslims in American social and political culture. The aim of this conference is to enhance public understanding of religious diversity and to explore two traditions at the epicenter of discussion in American religious discourse.