For any of those in the Claremont/Southern California area, it is not too late to decide to attend this Friday's conference, "Mormonism through the Eyes of Women: Envisioning New Spaces for Theology and Practice." This is an all-day event going from 9am to 5pm and includes speakers such as Claudia Bushman, Margaret Toscano, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and yours truly.
I will be speaking on "Mary Daly, Mormonism, and the Silent(ced) Mother":
In her Beyond God the Father, Mary Daly argues for the death of the concept of God as male. Because the traditional Christian view God is that of an unembodied being, God (who has no parts) cannot properly be understood as male. Using masculine language to describe God enforces an unequal and oppressive distinction between genders. As Daly puts it, "if God is a male, then the male is God." At an initial level Mormon theology seems to avoid this criticism with its beliefs in an embodied God with a female counterpart. However, looking deeper shows that Daly's criticism of a masculine deity imply an even stronger criticism of Mormon theology as it is practiced today.
I'll be honest, I'm a bit nervous about my paper. Not only is this going to be, by far, the most attended paper I have presented, but I am also the lone male presenter at the conference. Plus, it's a fairly critical look at current Mormon theology - which adds an extra level of nervousness.
For more information, check out the website here.